Davy McAlinden was disappointed with the way in which Larne’s season tailed off towards the climax, but his stated target was never any more than progression from the previous campaign and he was well satisfied with what they achieved.
“From a ninth place finish last season to a very clear fifth spot, it’s there in black and white that we have made progression,” reflected the contented Reds manager, but not without admitting that he would have some criticisms.
He added: “We played twenty-six matches in the league and we lost ten of them.
“That’s quite simply not good enough at all. And we never even got close to having a cup run, that very disappointing.
“On the flip side, however, I would have taken some positives from the undoubted fact that we were never looking like doing anything other than making the progress we had aimed for.
“This time last year we went out and signed fourteen players and pretty much built a team from scratch.
“Of course, that was then and this is now and we certainly won’t be needing to do anything like that this summer.
“That’s not to say that we aren’t already making plans to strengthen the squad, because that’s what you do in football.
“Even the best clubs in the best leagues will spend the summer months trying to improve in terms of quality.
“And that’s what we are intending to do. Rather than concentrating on numbers, the accent will firmly be on quality. And the targets will be in particular areas and specific players.
“Already we have fourteen or fifteen players committed for next season and that’s an excellent starting point,” assured McAlinden, who dismisses any talk about having an increased budget.
“We don’t pay wages, just wee bits of expenses. It’s not about money, but good old-fashioned values like playing for the jersey.
“We want guys who know what we are trying to do and wish to be a part of it.
“That has been how we have approached the job since that outset and it will always be that way.
“If players aren’t willing to buy into the plan, then they won’t be here; it’s as simple as that,” concluded the Inver Park manager.