‘This team is going places and I want to be part of it’

Larne captain Paul Maguire
Larne captain Paul Maguire

All involved with Larne FC were celebrating this week with the news that captain and leading scorer Paul Maguire has committed himself to the club until May 2015.

Speaking to the Times, Maguire said it was an easy decision to make, despite the interest of other clubs.

“I was really happy to sign again as I am happy at the club and that means a lot to me. We have a great bunch of lads and there is great camaraderie on and off the pitch. I have had approaches from a number of other clubs but I think the team is certainly going places and I want to be part of it,” he said.

Reminded of the fact that he thought his future might be elsewhere at the end of last season, Maguire added: “Yes, last season was a difficult one and I was being contacted by other clubs and wasn’t sure where Larne were going as a club.

“Thankfully some new faces were brought in and it has made a big difference. Players like Stuart King and Mark Picking not only have vast experience on the pitch but they are also a big influence at training which is helping all the players.

“We have already organised an end-of-season trip to Spain and we have had a few nights out already this season which really shows how strong a bond there is among the players.”

Maguire was, however, keen to point out it is hard work which has got the players in a positive frame of mind.

“Since Davy McAlinden has come in he has really changed things at the club,” he said. “I think it was a good thing that he brought his own back room team as they know how he wants to work.

“The training has been hard but there are good numbers turning up every week and I think supporters are seeing the end results in our recent games. The boss expects a high standard from everyone and even when we beat Institute recently we got a roasting after the game as we almost threw away the points and he warned us not to let it happen again.”

Looking ahead to the reverse fixture against Institute this week the captain believes it could be one of the biggest games of the season.

“We beat them recently so they will be looking for revenge. They are still in second place so it will be another big scalp for us if we can turn them over again.

“We then have the Intermediate Cup tie at the Welders and we certainly owe them one. We want to win every game we play in and it would be nice to give the supporters another cup run. They are going well under their new manager and have an Irish Cup replay to fit in before we face them so maybe that will give us an extra edge on the day.”