In the next 2019/20 club profile, Larne are under the spotlight. While a run to the title may be beyond the club this season, expect the club to challenge for the third-place position.
|Warrenpoint Town||Saturday 10th August||Home|
|Carrick Rangers||Tuesday 13th August||Away|
|Ballymena United||Saturday 17th August||Home|
|Crusaders||Saturday 24th August||Away|
|Linfield||Monday 2nd September||Home|
|Glentoran||Saturday 7th September||Away|
As was to be expected, Larne were the comfortable winners of last season’s Championship campaign. Larne were impressive at both ends of the team throughout the year, scoring 87 goals while conceding just 19 across 32 games. The league was wrapped up with five games to spare. Goals were a feature throughout the team, particularly wide-man Martin Donnelly, while David McDaid and Thomas Stewart also provided their fair share. Larne also entertained the crowds in the quarter-finals of the Irish Cup. Despite being eliminated in extra-time, Larne and Coleraine played out a memorable 3-3 draw on live television.
This summer has seen impressive recruitment policies by Larne. The signing of Albert Watson, who has been instated as vice-captain, is particularly impressive. The experienced defender has spent over a decade in the Irish League, while also enjoying full-time football in Canada with FC Edmonton in Canada and brief spell with KR in Iceland. Mark Randall has also been acquired on a free transfer, the midfielder has had spells at Arsenal, Burnley and other English clubs. Goalkeeper Conor Mitchell has joined the club from Burnley after a loan spell at Linfield, while Larne beat other clubs to the signing of Johnathan McMurray from Ballymena. Larne have also made public moves to sign Glenavon’s Rhys Marshall, but their approaches have thus far been rebuked by the club.
Tiernan Lynch’s 2017 appointment was carried out in a period of investment from club owner Kenny Bruce. As well as being the former assistant manager of Glentoran for five-and-a-half years, Lynch worked in a full-time capacity as the coach of Belfast Metropolitan college side. The manager underlined his commitment to youth, as well as a focus upon a controlled playing style with possession a priority. Lynch also relies upon his brother Seamus who makes up a key part of his coaching team at Larne.
While Larne were a level above the other teams in the Championship last season, the coming campaign will see regular contests against the country’s top clubs. Expectations are high at Inver Park. A top half position is the baseline for Larne, and they will be expecting to take points off all sides around them. Larne have buckets of potential for this season. Although the Gibson Cup may be out of reach for this campaign, a position in the play-offs should be expected.
Larne are priced at 10/1 to go all the way and secure the league championship this season. Former Linfield striker Tommy Stewart and Martin Donnelly are priced at 20/1 to finish this season as top goalscorer. David McDaid is a massive 25/1 price. All odds are available in store or via our dial-a-bet service.
Check out all of our Irish League odds here, and join us again tomorrow for the next in our club profile series: Crusaders. Catch-up with our previous club profiles here: Warrenpoint Town, Institute, Carrick Rangers, Dungannon Swifts, Glenavon, Glentoran, Cliftonville.