Belfast Telegraph

Larne chief Kenny Bruce aims to extend his purple patch to Scandinavia

By Steven Beacom

Larne owner Kenny Bruce has outlined the club's plans for the next two transfer windows, revealing that they are looking at the Scandinavian market to recruit new players.

Purplebricks co-founder Bruce, who has transformed the Inver Park outfit by investing millions on and off the pitch, also stated that the Bluefin Championship leaders want the best players the Irish League can offer and are interested in bringing in quality performers from the League of Ireland and England.

Bruce's comments come ahead of Saturday's league showdown away to third placed Portadown, who drew 2-2 against unbeaten Larne earlier in the season.

Since Bruce took over the club, several stars have arrived from across the water including former Northern Ireland midfielder Jeff Hughes. Top local players have also been brought in - all working in a full-time set-up under manager Tiernan Lynch.

More signings will follow in January with the aim to win promotion to the Irish Premiership this season, then compete with the big boys in the top flight with the ultimate dream to lift the title and qualify for the Champions League.

"The squad have adjusted to full-time football very quickly, Tiernan has the players that he wanted and they are playing a style of football that he wants and are grinding out results when required," Bruce said.

“What Tiernan and his staff have done on the pitch has been terrific. He is building a culture that we want at our club and the players are displaying fantastic attitude and mentality,” said Bruce.

“We are not counting our chickens saying we are home and hosed with promotion but we are in a great position and it is in our control. If we continue to thrive as a squad and the fans continue to support us and continue to make Inver Park a fortress, I think there is a great chance we’ll be promoted.

“That’s why Tiernan is very keen to make sure we aren’t bleeding eight or nine players in the summer. He wants three or four quality Premiership players in January, so this coming window is very important to us and we want to bring in four or five in the summer months of the same standard.

“We have done a huge amount of homework on the players we want and we will be making approaches for them as and when the January transfer window opens.

“We are looking at the Irish League, League of Ireland, England, Scotland and Scandinavia is another area Tiernan is looking closely at.

“Tiernan has a clear vision of where he wants to go with the football club on the playing side, with the first team, development squad and the youth. We have 16 or 17 full-time professionals at the club and we want to grow that in the January transfer window and in the summer months and have a team that can go and compete if we are promoted to the Premiership.

“We are not suggesting in any shape or form that we will have a team that can go and qualify for Europe straight away, but if we do get promoted we are going to try and put a team on the pitch that can give big teams a scare.

“Over the next few years we want to try and establish ourselves as a club that has the very best quality players in Northern Ireland.

“We want to have brought some of our own through the ranks, and also we’ll have brought some in from Scandinavia, the rest of the UK and the League of Ireland. We are very focused on what we are doing on the playing side and Tiernan and his staff are doing a first class job in highlighting players to target.”

Belfast Telegraph

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