McAlinden focused on future success

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The season ended as it began for Larne, but the disappointment was tempered by the fact the club is in a much better place and can look forward with optimism.

A 1-1 draw away to Coagh United was a flat finish, but manager Davy McAlinden wasn’t annoyed by the result or the performance.

“It was an end-of-season match which meant nothing to either team. We tried to do the best we could, but it was one of those game where the outcome was irrelevant,” he said.

“We finished in ninth place and, on reflection, the latter part of the season wasn’t what we wanted it to be.

“However, we put things into perspective and we have had a very small squad and were hit by a spate of injuries, so perhaps our expectations were high.

“Looking back to when we took over and we were sitting 13th in the table, just a point above the bottom team, I can assure you, had we been offered a ninth at that time, we would certainly have taken it.”

McAlinden says preparations for next season have been in place for weeks.

“We have been planning ahead for three or four weeks, because when you are playing teams and watching matches you are always looking at players who might be worthwhile additions.

He added: “I made no bones about the reason I came here: the fact that Larne have a Championship Licence is a major factor. There’s no point in applying and getting that unless you have the ambition of being promoted to the Premiership and we want to achieve that sooner rather than later.”