McClean ready to face hometown club United

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One man really looking forward to Larne’s trip to Limavady on Saturday is former United player Ruairi McClean.

The Ballymoney-based school teacher has had a frustrating start to his career at Inver Park, missing the bulk of pre-season.

“I was the lead teacher organising a trip for 65 children to China which took up a lot of time. When I came back I then had a family holiday planned so I missed pre season and last week’s game against Newington was my first 90 minutes since the end of last season.

“I thought I did OK in the recent games which I have played in. I have been training a lot but there is nothing to beat playing in games to build up sharpness.”

McClean is fully focused on making his mark with Larne but did admit he had been looking forward to playing with his brother Brian who has since left the club.

“It was one of the reasons I came here as we are very close and it would have been good to play with him as we are highly competitive in all aspects of life and we are very close as brothers.

“I have signed on for the season and I’m really looking forward to it. I have always seen Larne as a big club when I played against them. I went to the Steel Cup final a couple of years ago and the support was amazing.

“That was also in my mind when I met the manager, but we as a team have to produce a product that will get the supporters through the gate. There is great quality in the squad but it takes time to gel. We haven’t been great recently but a win will build confidence and move us up the table.”

Commenting on his return to the Showgrounds, McClean added: “Times are tough for all clubs but after we had won a cup last Christmas all the players were made free agents within minutes of that win. I was asked to stay but I wanted to play in a team that is challenging so it was a no-brainer to come to Larne.

“Limavady have a very young side now full of local players. I was born and bred there so I still care a lot about the club but I will be going all out to score against them and help Larne claim the three points.”