Larne’s latest recruit, Nathan Morley-Hillen, says teamwork and hard graft will be big factors as the club bids to climb the Championship 1 table.
And the former Newry City goalkeeper can’t wait to get back playing the game he loves after the border club was wound up at a High Court hearing last month, before having its membership of the Irish Football Association terminated.
Morley-Hillen admitted there was interest in his services from other Irish League clubs - including Premiership outfits - but was attracted to Larne because he wanted to play matches and make an impact.
“To me, it’s all about playing the games and being able to make a difference,” he told the Times. “When I played against Larne at the start of the year, I felt the style of football they were playing was great. They were getting the ball down and passing it, rather than knocking it long and chasing.
“Also, after talking with the manager, he really thinks there is a good squad built with a lot of youth and all he needs is a bit of experience added in and the results will start changing.
“I want, to get back to playing the game I love. The last match I played I kept a clean sheet, which I hope can happen this Saturday, providing everything goes well with the registration.
“With all the things that were happening off the field at Newry it didn’t really effect what was happening on the pitch. So, mentally, I am prepared for Saturday and can’t wait to start a new chapter of my career with Larne.”
Having a former goalkeeper as his new boss is also something the 22-year-old is looking forward to. “I believe that it will be a benefit, as being a goalkeeper is a different to any other position,” he said. “Graham can relate to the position and, obviously, help me improve as a player as he can pass on his experiences and guide me in the right direction to succeed at the club.”
After Saturday’s defeat to Dundela, Larne are hovering just above Tobermore United at the wrong end of the table but Morley-Hillen says he’s confident that if the squad pulls together, he can play his part in helping change the club’s fortunes.
“I know how much hard work and determination it will take as I have been involved in both a relegation dogfight as well as at the top of the table pushing for the league. Team work is going to be a big factor and as long as the lads stick together and work hard, we will make our way up the table.”
Report by John Gillespie | Twitter: @Times_Sport