McAlinden on red alert for friendly

Larne boss David McAlinden.
Larne boss David McAlinden.

Larne could be in line for a money-spinning pre-season friendly fixture with Premier League champions Cliftonville, admits manager Davy McAlinden.

The Larne boss has confirmed five of the matches being lined up ahead of the big kick-off on August 9 and, when pressed about the prospect of a game against his former club, he reluctantly confessed that it is a possibility.

“An approach has been made to them and they are considering it, but it’s too early to say whether or not it will happen,” he told the Times.

“It would be terrific for the club if it does come to pass, but we will have to wait and see,” responded cautious McAlinden (above).

The expectation is that it’s almost certainly only a matter of the Solitude club waiting to secure their dates for Champions League qualifying matches before they commit to the fixture, but it will surely be a nice topic of conversation as the thoughts turn to pre-season plans.

“We get back to training at the end of this month and it will be great to get the new signings, which total eight right now, along to meet the rest of the players,” added the Inver Park boss.

“And we will have at least half a dozen preparatory fixtures to help us get the squad to gel and bond, these matches perfect for creating team spirit.

“Already in the pipeline are games against Shankill United, Albert Foundry, Larne Tech. Old Boys, Dunmurry Rec and Queen’s University and those will be great for blending the established players at the club with the new additions.

“We’re all enjoying a nice break at the present time, but I know everybody is champing at the bit for the training to begin again.”