Three pre-season fixtures, with varying degrees of difficulty, form the latest sector of Tommy Kincaid’s agenda as he prepares his Larne team for their planned assault on a successful campaign which will, hopefully, end with promotion to the top flight of Irish League football.
But, while the management of football teams is very much a results-based business, Kincaid maintains matches played at this time of year are about much more than winning, losing or drawing.
“We were beaten 2-1 by Derriaghy Cricket Club on Saturday but it was always going to a fixture that would be tough for us to win, as indeed it would be difficult for any team which goes there,” explained the Inver boss.
“But I got out of it what I wanted to get out of it, which was seeing a variety of things about the players and the team and ensuring that the guys got enough game-time and learned bits and pieces about one another.”
He added: “On Saturday it’s more of a fun day than a very serious match outing as we are taking on the supporters’ team at Inver Park in a fund-raising contest.
“But we will treat it as seriously as we can in the circumstances, with a little training session pencilled in before the game.
“Next Tuesday night brings a game against Ballymena United - their visit to Inver Park always a special experience for the two clubs, again the derby element a significant factor for the respective sets of supporters and the players as well.
“It’s all geared towards the onset of the new season and, as invariably happens in such situations, Larne’s opening fixture is against my former club, Ards. Eighteen months on from that post, I think other people will be making much more of this clash than I will.
“For me, it will be all about how we play and the importance of banking some early points,” added Kincaid, who is clearly growing excited about the start of another intriguing management challenge.