Flood is relishing new challenge

Paddy Flood

Paddy Flood

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After his switch from Ballyclare Comrades to Championship 1 rivals Larne, goalkeeper Paddy Flood says he felt the time was right for a new challenge.

Flood, who made his first appearance for the Reds in last Thursday’s friendly against Shankill United, arrives at Inver as replacement for John Connolly who quit the club in June.

The 24-year-old, widely regarded as one of the most consistent keepers in the Irish League’s second tier, made 178 appearances for the Dixon Park outfit. He made his debut for the Comrades as a teenager in the 2006-07 campaign.

“Over the last couple of months I had been thinking about my future and when I was talking to Davy (McAlinden) and heard what he had to say, and what his plans were for me and the club over the next year or two, Inver Park was the only place I wanted to be,” said Flood.

He admits Connolly will be a hard act to follow, but says he’s confident he will be a success between the sticks. He also believes that under boss McAlinden, Larne have the squad to make a real fist of winning promotion to the Premiership.

“John was super for Larne last year and he was probably a big part of why the club did so well. But I do think that I’m the man to come in and prove to everyone else that I’m good enough - if not better.

Paddy Flood in action for Ballyclare Comrades. Photo: Presseye

Paddy Flood in action for Ballyclare Comrades. Photo: Presseye

“From the minute McAlinden walked into the job, Larne have just improved with every single game they have played. The year before he arrived they were going downwards and he has just brought them right back up. He has put a squad together that is hungry to work hard. They are a good bunch of lads and all I can do is go and work my socks off and do what the manager asks.

“I spoke to some of the players at Larne before I signed and they have nothing but good things to say about him. He’s honest and he tells you what he wants you to do and if you’re not doing it, then he will tell you. That’s what you want as a player.

“He’s added a couple of new faces and he told me he’s only adding players he thinks are capable of playing in the Premiership and I think that’s a brilliant thing for a manager to say. He wants players that he knows can contend for promotion. That was a big draw for me.”