Larne FC: McAlinden ‘keeping’ options open

Larne manager David McAlinden.
Larne manager David McAlinden.

Davy McAlinden admits the task to replace goalkeeper John Connolly is a difficult one, but insists he will not be rushed into anything - even though the competition is fierce.

“Getting a first-choice player for any position is not easy, but filling a goalkeeping vacancy is especially hard,” explained the Larne manager who sounds as though he is still coming to terms with the shock departure of his former Cliftonville team-mate who quit Inver Park two weeks ago.

“Naturally, I have been contacting other managers to see who might be available and I’m a little surprised by the number of others who are after a ‘keeper, albeit most of them merely wanting an extra one.

“But, as you know, I’m not in the business of signing players just for the sake of it. I would like to get somebody on board sooner rather than later, but I will wait until I get the right man for the job.

“There are a couple of options but I’m casting the net a bit wider and I’m content to be patient and see what develops. The matter will hopefully be sorted before the trip to Dergview on August 8 for the opening match in Championship 1,” added McAlinden.

But what will the Larne supremo do if he hasn’t secured the experienced player he needs to fill Connolly’s jersey? Pressed on the question, he grudgingly revealed the viable option.

“There are a couple of lads we have had down during pre-season and goalkeeping coach Ciaran Stitt has been working with them.

“The only goalkeeper on the books is Daniel McWilliams, a local lad with good potential. And, while it would not be the ideal situation, I would be happy to give him his chance on the opening day if push came to shove. That’s a much a better choice than signing somebody just as a stop-gap measure.

“In the meantime, we are concentrating on pre-season training, with the friendly against Shankill United on Thursday night, before the holiday break. That game is at their ground in the Hammer Complex at 7:30pm.

“We are still awaiting confirmation for the Saturday 18 fixture, that to be sorted in the next few days,” added the hard-working manager.