Belfast Telegraph

Lynch: we haven't seen best of class act Randall

Glentoran v Larne, Danske Bank Premiership: The Oval, Today, 3.00pm

Tiernan Lynch
Tiernan Lynch

By Graham Luney

Larne boss Tiernan Lynch believes his midfield maestro Mark Randall is only warming up at this stage of the Danske Bank Premiership season.

The classy 29-year-old has already been spraying the passes around with a tough of class but Lynch says the former Arsenal man will shine even brighter in the months ahead.

Randall signed a professional deal with Arsenal in 2006 and spent five years with the club where he featured in a number of first-team games, including in the League Cup and Champions League, making his debut against Porto in 2008.

As well as representing England at underage level, he spent time at MK Dons, Chesterfield, Newport and most recently Crawley Town.

Now he is showcasing his skills in the Irish League in an impressive midfield alongside players of the calibre of Jeff Hughes and Fuad Sule.

"Mark is a quality player and one of those players who will be even stronger after 10 games," said Lynch.

"He tired greatly in the last game against Crusaders but we had already made changes. There's no doubt he's a special talent and he does things that you can't coach and not everyone can do.

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"He loves this league and he loves what we are doing."

Larne face a trip to rejuvenated Glentoran this afternoon, a club where Lynch tasted Irish Cup success on two occasions.

It's another intriguing test for a club that gained promotion with high expectations but Lynch isn't concerned by outside noises.

"I don't pay any attention to the focus on Larne," he added.

"Other people can do the talking, we know what we have to do.

"Our job is every single day to work harder and get better. That's all we think about.

"If we need to talk about things in January we will do so, but right now it's about how quickly we can adapt to the league and you can never get carried away with anything.

"In the draw with Crusaders it might have went against us scoring as early as we did because what we should have done is go and play on the front foot but after the Ballymena defeat we were more cautious.

"We didn't knock the ball around the way we normally do.

"But of course after our disappointing loss at home to United, we would have snapped your arm off for that draw at Seaview.

"With that in mind, I'm very pleased for the players."

Larne have announced the signing of midfielder Conor McKendry, subject to international clearance. The 20-year-old arrives at Inver Park as a free agent, following his release from Ipswich Town at the end of last season.

Lynch said: "Conor is a very talented young lad, who has trained with us on a number of occasions.

"He was hugely thought of at Ipswich and a change of management there probably didn't get him where he wanted to go.

"I think he's a lad who needed time to get home and get games under his belt and he'll hopefully do that here.

"As a player he'll run in behind, he can play with both feet and he's the difference maker in matches - a very exciting player to watch."

• Sion Swifts star Donna-Kay Henry has been named Women's Player of the Month by NIFWA.

Donna-Kay took a month off work to come and play football in Northern Ireland and marked her short spell at Sion Swifts Ladies with five goals in five games, which was enough to make her the NIFWA Women's Player of the Month for August.

"This is a great honour for me," said Donna, who played her final game for Sion Swifts Ladies against Cliftonville Ladies on Wednesday night and just hours later was on a plane heading back to New York.

"I came in late in the season and it was just a chance for me to play some football and getting wins and being on the scoresheet made it all fantastic.

"Getting this award to mark my time in Northern Ireland means a lot to me."

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