It’s back to business for Larne at Inver Park, the bulk of the squad returning to training on Saturday as manager Graham McConnell begins the countdown to a campaign which, hopefully, promises to be much better than in recent times.
Much good work appears to have been done in the close season, with many of the new recruits arriving to meet their team-mates and, according to the boss, there is a great buzz in the camp.
“As you can appreciate, always at this time in every club there will be players who have had holidays already booked and they wouldn’t be able to appear, but we had a turn-out of 21 players, which, I feel, is great.
“Robbie White, who is making a welcome return to the club, along with newcomers Stuart King and Daryl Kernohan, were among the new signings in attendance and we had a splendid first day under coaches Sammy Workman, David McClelland and David Sluman.
“Personally, I am very pleased to be back to the training even though there has been very little in terms of a break for the management, because we have been extremely busy securing the players we needed to strengthen the squad.
“In addition to the guys mentioned above, we saw a bit of Josh McAllister and a lad who is on trial from Brantwood, Patrick Kelly, who is another striker. He was highly recommended to me and, to be honest, I have not seen him play. But that’s what pre-season games are for and, while he looks good, I’m looking forward to getting a look at him in a match situation.
“We will be training on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays from here on in, barring days when we have pre-season fixtures arranged, of course.
“This Saturday we will have a training session in the morning, then a break for lunch and, in the afternoon, all the players – both those who were with us last season and the new faces – will officially sign the forms. And after that we have another session planned, this time in the newly-opened Fit Factory, this under the guidance of owner and coach, Philip Barnhill.
“This was agreed some weeks back to facilitate the new secretary, who is settling into the position and will obviously take some time to get to grips with all the various procedures involved.
“We all welcome Marie Drummond on board and wish her well in the position. It is an onerous job, but I’m sure she will have been well briefed by Archie Smyth, who had previously been combining the role with that of chairman.
“In my short time knowing Marie, I have no doubt that she will do well as secretary. She is well organised and appears to be very efficient and I have no doubt she will be a terrific addition to the club.
“So, things look pretty good on and off the field and long may it continue,” added McConnell