Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Celtic hit with selection headache ahead of Irish Cup tie at Larne

 

Former Glentoran midfielder Stephen McAlorum is in his first year in management.
Former Glentoran midfielder Stephen McAlorum is in his first year in management.

By Graham Luney

Belfast Celtic coach Stephen McAlorum knows all about the magic of the Irish Cup after lifting the glittering prize twice with Glentoran.

The former midfielder also enjoyed some memorable Cup moments while at Donegal Celtic and he's hoping there's another knockout blow to fondly remember at Inver Park today.

Larne start as firm favourites against the Ballymena and District League side and McAlorum, who is assisted by Paddy Kelly in the dugout, admits the task is a daunting one, particularly with a depleted panel.

Captain Mark Clarke is in Australia on a late honeymoon, James Haughey, Brendan Shannon, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Ryan Catney are unavailable while Gary Warwick is in the treatment room.

"I was lucky to win the Irish Cup twice with Glentoran, winning against Cliftonville and Portadown," said McAlorum.

"I'll always have the fond memories and even when I was playing for Donegal Celtic, we got to the semi-finals after putting Glentoran out in the quarter-finals.

"I always enjoyed the Irish Cup, it's been a great competition in my career.

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"We are missing several first team players so we are down to the bare bones a bit but there are boys coming in who are hungry to show what they can do against Premiership opposition.

"There's always one or two freak results and you never know, if you can stay in the game for a long time and frustrate them then we can do something but we know it will be a massive test.

"We want to give a good account of ourselves and we want people to stand up and say we are a good side.

"We want to take some credit from the game."

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