Larne FC a ‘work in progress’, says Smith

Sammy Smith, assistant-manager at Larne FC.

Sammy Smith, assistant-manager at Larne FC.

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Larne’s assistant-manager Sammy Smith has told the Times that he and boss Graham McConnell are targeting a top-six finish in Championship 1, as they look ahead to this weekend’s opening-day match with Dergview.

Smith, who said Larne simply cannot compete with the cashflow at other clubs, described the Inver Park outfit as a “work in progress” and insisted that a strong start to the new season would be the perfect foundation on which to build.

“The simple fact is that Larne FC do not have the financial muscle to compete with many of the other clubs in Championship 1,” he said. “Anybody who thinks players come to Inver Park for money is having a laugh. We don’t pay our players and that generally makes it tough to attract quality ones.

“Larne FC is a work in progress over the next lot of years and we feel we are heading in the right direction and, hopefully, continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

“Getting off to a good start is probably the key to having a good season. If you can get some points on the board nice and early it helps to ease the pressure, and that’s always a good thing.

“But we know we will have to play well to get the result we want against Dergview at home this Saturday. They’re actually a team who look as if they have an outside chance of pushing the big boys.

“Always a good side, their ambition is evident from the fact that former Portadown player Richard Clarke is their new manager. We won up there on the last day of the season but I think it will be a big feather in our caps if we can repeat that on the first day of the new season.

“We go into that match, and the league cup match on Tuesday night at home to Portstewart, without Niall McAllister and Jamesie Moore who are both serving suspensions.”