Larne skipper close to making a return to action

Larne captain Paul Maguire says he has struck up a good understanding with strike partner Guilluame Keke. Photo: Presseye

Larne captain Paul Maguire says he has struck up a good understanding with strike partner Guilluame Keke. Photo: Presseye

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Having survived the players’ Christmas party, Larne captain Paul Maguire caught up with the Times and revealed he is close to a return to action.

The striker, who scored six goals in his last five outings to take his total for the season to 14, is looking forward to getting back on the pitch. He gave us an update on the calf injury which ruled him out of the defeat to Ballymena.

“I trained well on both nights last week and would have been available and raring to go if last Saturday’s game had gone ahead. It was disappointing that the game was postponed but all the players who were carrying any niggles will have more time to get back to full fitness.”

Maguire has formed a great partnership with new strike partner Guillaume Keke which has netted 27 goals to date, and it seems to work for both players.

“He is his own man but defenders get drawn to him and it works well for me as it gives me more space. We are all bursting to get back to competitive action as training is OK but nothing beats playing a full 90 minutes.

“You don’t get the sharpness you need in training but thankfully Limavady are in the same position as ourselves so hopefully Saturday’s game goes ahead. It will be difficult as they are going well and will come to Inver full of confidence, but if we play to our potential we should be looking forward to the fifth round against Loughgall.”

Maguire said he was happy to see Ballyclare midfielder Sammy McIlveen sign for the club. “The boss is always looking to improve the team and it means we will all have to do the business as we know there is someone waiting to take our place,” he said.

With the games starting to back up Maguire gave his views on the possibility of a Boxing Day fixture. “I personally don’t mind even though it means I would have to be good on Christmas Day but a lot of the players work in retail outlets and we need to have all our players available to be in the mix come the end of the season. “I have played in quite a few Larne teams but collectively this is the best one I have been involved in. There are players I have played with who could still play in the current team and would be an asset.

“The boss is the same as the players: we all want to get into the Premiership and I honestly believe we will not be far away.”