Inver boss on summer football and why McMullan is the best he’s played alongside

Larne manager, Davy McAlinden.
Larne manager, Davy McAlinden.

Times football correspondent Paul Campbell speaks to Inver Park boss Davy McAlinden about his favourite Irish League player and his views on summer football.

Favourite team (apart from Larne): Locally, it’s Cliftonville. I had great times there but in the Premier League I am a Spurs supporter.

Previous clubs: Ballymena, Crusaders, Glenavon, Cliftonville, Distillery, Carrick Rangers then back to Cliftonville, before finishing at Ards.

Honours in football: The Shield with Cliftonville and the league with Carrick, but the highlight for me was securing an away win for Cliftonville in Europe. It was against Latvian side FC Dinaburg in 2007.

Favourite ground: I always loved playing at Solitude even when it was in the muck and using the old changing rooms. The cage behind the goal meant it always had a great atmosphere.

Least favourite ground: No comment.

Best player you have played with: Locally, it has to be George McMullan at Cliftonville. He has been doing it for years and now he is getting the recognition he deserves. Every week he was getting great ratings in the press and has played in almost every position for the club.

Player you didn’t like playing against: It has to be Glenn Ferguson who gave me a few rough games over the years. He was a top-class striker but it was good to face a top player as I learnt from the experiences when playing against him.

Best trainer at Larne: There are a lot of good trainers but forced to pick one I would have to plump for Chris Rodgers.

Quickest player at Larne: Again you have a few candidates like Peter Duffin and Johnny McMurray who is very quick over a short sprint. But I would have to go for Chrissy Rodgers again.

Slowest player at Larne: There are honestly no slouches so I would have to pick myself as it is a reputation I have had during my career.

Summer football. Yes or no? A definite yes. Do you want to enjoy football in the sun or go to places on a Tuesday night in December? The pitch can be a mud bath, freezing conditions and not knowing what hour of the night you are going to get home.