McAlinden targeting new faces in hunt for silverware

Larne FC manager, Davy McAlinden.
Larne FC manager, Davy McAlinden.

Larne manager Davy McAlinden is pursuing several signings with a view to strengthening his squad for a major assault on next season’s Championship 1 title.

However, the relaxed Inver boss is presently taking to that task with something of a laid-back approach, given there is little happening throughout the Irish League divisions at the moment. But, he says, that may change as time goes on.

“To be truthful, if the league was starting this weekend, I think I would be quite happy to go with the panel of players that we have right now, surprising as that may seem to some folk,” revealed McAlinden, who is spending the week in pursuit of his UEFA A grade coaching licence.

“Given the number of players we recruited last summer and the fact that we brought in some more new faces in the January transfer window, that meant there was not really a lot of time for the squad to gel properly.

“These things don’t just happen overnight. It’s really an ongoing process. If you look at Bangor, for example, and appreciate that they have had the bulk of their squad for three years now, you will realise that it is really not something that you can rush.

“The development of players as a unit is essential and they all need to get to know the strength of all those around them and I believe this panel at Inver Park is going to grow stronger as the weeks and months go by.

“Of course, as other clubs start to bring in players, others will be released and, if we see guys who will add strength and options to our squad, then we will endeavour to entice them to wear the Larne jersey.

“I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit that I think there are a certain areas where I believe we could maybe improve. But, as I said at the outset, I wouldn’t be at all concerned if the league was just about to start,” he assured.

n Meanwhile, budding Irish League stars are being invited to catch the eye of Larne talent scouts by taking part in the Championship 1 club’s open day on Saturday, June 20.

Young players aged 16 and over are invited to Inver Park at noon to parade their skills. Some of the more suitable performers will go on to be invited to join their U19 and reserve teams.

The club’s full coaching and management staff will be there to greet players, so the advice is to grab your boots and get there to show off your skills!