Larne Football Club is going strong 128 years since its formation in 1889 and while the club, like most others, has had its share of ups and downs, it’s rich history and all that it has brought to the sporting life of the town and Northern Ireland is well worth celebrating.
There may be more to celebrate in the future according to Club Chairman Archie Smyth who, in a statement posted last month on their website, described plans for Larne FC as “exciting”.
Plans, he revealed, include pioneering a new form of club football.
The Larne Football Club first team will now be educated in the morning and train in the afternoon, effectively making them full time footballers and also enabling them to gain an education, instead of the old system of training twice a week.
This, Mr Smyth stated, is an opportunity for players who join Larne Football Club to improve their game on a daily basis.
The Club is also implementing a B Tech course in conjunction with Larne High School, whereby young players from 16 years of age will also be educated and trained in the same manner.
Improvement plans are also firmly in the pipeline for their playing grounds at Inver Park which were in a poor state when the current board took control there in 2009.
Recently, it was decided the best way forward was to re-negotiate the lease with Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, whereby the local authority would take over the maintenance of Inver Park and the Club would rent it from them.
The Club Chair stated: “We informed the council of this on Monday, July 10, and they started work on the ground on Monday, July 17. Mid and East Antrim Council have done everything they can to help us and we hope our increased co-operation with the Council will help put the club on a more solid footing moving forward”.
Whatever the future holds for Larne FC, and whenever and where ever they play, their dedicated bunch of fans -The Inver Red & Whites Supporters Club - will be there to cheer them on.
Over the years, they’ve had plenty of reasons to cheer, for the Club have been B Division winners 10 times, Steel & Sons Cup Winners 11 times, winners of the George Wilson Cup four times, the Louis Moore Cup twice, Intermediate Cup winners twice and, also, on two occasions, have won the Ulster Cup.
They have also made the finals of a combined seven major domestic cup finals emerging runners-up of the Irish Cup on five occasions (1927–28, 1934–35, 1986–87, 1988–89 and 2004–05) and runners-up of the Irish League Cup twice (1991–92 and 2003–04).
Tiernan Lynch is the latest man entrusted with the task of taking Larne FC back to the top of Irish League Football, being appointed by the Club as first team manager to replace David McAlinden following his resignation.
Due, however, to the ongoing works at Inver Park, their opening game of the Bluefin Sport Championship season against Portadown on Saturday, August 12, has been switched to Taylor’s Avenue, Carrickfergus.
The Club have thanked Carrick Rangers for their co-operation in making their facilities available and have issued an appeal to all supporters to give the club their support and make the short trip to Carrickfergus this Saturday for the all important season opener.