Tommy Kincaid says he will be happy if his team achieves a top-six position in Championship One, ahead of Saturday’s curtain-raiser away to Ards.
The Larne manager admits his restricted budget makes it impossible for him to compete with those clubs providing greater resources and described his target as realistic.
“I’d really love us to finish in the top six because that’s honestly my assessment of what would be genuine success for Larne this season,” Kincaid told the Larne Times.
He feels he would only be kidding himself, never mind the supporters, if he was to set his sights any higher.
“Considering the budget at Inver Park and comparing it to what many other managers in this division are working off, that’s about as good as we could hope to achieve. Of course, it’s obvious that we will be trying to do better, we’ll be endeavouring to win every game we play, but we’ve got to be realistic and the top six would be tremendous.
“I mean, look at the start we have – Ards away on Saturday, followed by home to Newry City and then away to The Welders. They are three of the leading contenders for the title and that makes this a hell of daunting start. I would bite your arm off if you offered me four points from those three games right now, even though we will be going flat-out for more.
“But, of course, we must keep our focus at this moment in time on the opening match against Ards, a club I know well and one with no shortage of ambition.
“And they have a terrific manager in Niall Currie, as winning five trophies in one season during his time as manager of Loughgall clearly testifies.
“Niall has brought in something like nine or 10 new players and he has beefed up what was already a very good squad, so they are definitely one of the best teams in this division.
“Getting even a point will not be easy, but we will not be going there to play for a draw. We want to win and will be playing our own game in an effort to do so,” assured Kincaid, who has signed Chris Keenan to battle for the No. 1 goalkeeper’s jersey along with Darren Gibbons.
“Chris played with Larne Tech Old Boys last season and was planning to play with them again this year but he has ambitions to play at as high a level as possible and that’s why he has signed for us. It was timely, too, with Davy Henry no longer available because of business commitments.
“Keeping a clean sheet on Saturday against Rosario was a good start for Chris, while the game was a memorable one as well for Paul Maguire who scored all five goals in the victory.
“We should have won by more than 5-0 but it’s a great result and it was a good way to finalise our on-pitch preparations for the new season,” concluded Kincaid.