Paul Carland says he has always ‘loved Larne FC to bits’ but he is not interested in becoming manager.
Nor is he going to be involved in the running of the club – either as a member of a new manager’s backroom staff, as director of football, or as a member of the board in any capacity.
Carland, who skippered Larne to the glory of winning the Ulster Cup in 1987, was said to have been elected to the board several months ago. But he says he has never intended to join the management committee.
“It was suggested to me, but I think my response was misinterpreted and was construed as a willingness to accept a position,” he explained.
“I had said I would do anything I can to help the club, but I had to honestly believe there was a willingness from all concerned to make the success of the team an absolute priority,” explained the Belfast man.
“The process of making team success a priority can be short, medium or long-term. But, at a time when finances everywhere are tight, you need at least to be able to attract young talent to the club and have confidence that those sound young players will be properly developed.
“Paul Millar and myself were more than just the management. We were involved in fundraising almost as much as running the team.
“Indeed, we tried to make the team almost self-financing,” revealed Carland, who admits he is sad at witnessing the present gloomy clouds over Inver Park.
“It’s dreadful the way things have developed: the whole Sammy Workman appointment and then Tommy Kincaid being given the job and sacked all within a few months.
“You can bring in as many good players as you want but people, players and managers, need to be given time to settle in and it’s really difficult in two-and-a-half months. Football is a results-driven business, however, and that’s how managers are judged.
“Now there’s apparently a lot of talk that some of the players who were loyal to Tommy will leave and the whole circle starts again – and it’s even worse now because the transfer window won’t open again until January,” assessed Carland.
Of caretaker Graham McConnell, he said: “Graham has always had a love affair with the Inver Park job and, almost for as long as I can remember, every time the post has been vacant he has been interested in taking charge. It’s up to him now to prove himself to be the right man,” added Carland who has only been to Larne once since he and Millar quit, and that was for the fundraising golf day.