McAlinden is relishing East Antrim derby

Larne boss Davy McAlinden
Larne boss Davy McAlinden

After Saturday’s confidence-boosting 4-3 win over Institute, Larne boss Davy McAlinden is preparing his troops for what promises to be a thrilling East Antrim derby.

It’s the rookie manager’s first head-to-head against the team he captained to the Championship title in 2011.

“We will certainly enjoy the Christmas break, but we will certainly still be keeping the focus on Saturday’s match against Carrick Rangers – and I am well aware of what this match will mean to the Larne fans,” he said earlier this week.

“I may not have been involved in an East Antrim derby before, but I have been on duty many, many times in derby fixtures and they are very special to supporters.

“And, of course, there is an added element to this particular one due to the fact that the manager of Carrick is Larne man Gary Haveron. But that will add a little bit of spice to the occasion and I suspect it will make it all the more important for our supporters that we get a result.

“I know they are a pretty good team, with a number of former Cliftonville players aboard, like Ciaran Donaghy. And they have quite an impressive record since Gary became manager.

“He will have them well prepared well-drilled and they will be every bit as keen to get the bragging rights as we are.

“But it’s all about the three points and we would love to head for the new year celebrations as we did for the Christmas ones, with three very good points in the bag.”