There’s a surprise European flavour to the earlier-than-expected start of Larne’s pre-season friendly matches, with Carling Premiership runners-up Crusaders kicking off their preparations for the anticipated big clash with Premier League giants Fulham by coming to the port town to play Paul Millar’s team.
A late approach from the Seaview club caught Larne on the hop, but it was too good an opportunity to pass up and Millar hastily put arrangements in place to ensure the club’s supporters would have an additional treat ahead of the IFA Championship One campaign.
“We weren’t supposed to have our first home game in an extensive list of pre-season matches until Glentoran come to Inver Park on Saturday, July 16, but I had a call from my longtime friend Stephen Baxter and was delighted to facilitate him, despite it not being an ideal situation,” he revealed.
“The 18-yard areas on the Inver Park pitch had been dug up for re-seeding and were not expecting to need the ground for a few more weeks, so the game has now been scheduled to take place on Saturday, with a 3pm kick-off, at the home pitch of Wellington Rec up in Millbrook.
“This is a perfect opportunity for our new players to savour a big occasion, albeit only a friendly game. It will still be nice for them to play against one of the best teams in the Irish League – second in the league last season after giving Linfield a scare and also finalists in the Irish Cup. And we know they’ll be taking our game seriously because they are preparing for a big European clash against Fulham, assuming Martin Jol’s men beat a team from the Faroe Islands.
Read more in this week’s Larne Times