Larne ready to let loose: McDaid
Larne striker David McDaid believes the best is yet to come from fast-improving Larne - and that's bad news for Crumlin Star in today's Tennent's Irish Cup sixth round tie at new-look Inver Park.
The ambitious east Antrim side, who are almost certain to be competing in the Premiership next season, should have few problems swatting away the challenge of their Amateur League opponents.
Tiernan Lynch's boys, backed by millionaire Kenny Bruce, the entrepreneur behind Purple Bricks, are currently steaming clear at the top of the Bluefin Sport Championship, and their place in the top flight will likely soon be guaranteed.
McDaid welcomes a new challenge, admitting an Irish Cup run is just what his team needs at this time of the season.
"We will not have the pressure of picking up league points hovering over us," said the former Derry City and Cliftonville man. "We'll be licensed to play with a bit of freedom, not that we'll be taking Crumlin Star lightly.
"They recently had a great win over Loughgall, who are a good side. Tiernan (Lynch) has done his homework on them, he treats all our opponents the same.
"There is a lot at stake. Yes, it's a nice little break from league pressure, but we know victory over Crumlin Star will book us a spot in the quarter finals and that is massive for the club."
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Larne defeated Premiership side Newry City in the last round - a victory that helped pump renewed confidence into the side.
McDaid added: "Newry are a good side and it was one of our toughest games of the season. We were 2-0 up, but they pulled one back to leave us hanging on a little bit at the end.
"I don't think their position in the Premiership indicates how good a team they are. We are expecting another battle against Crumlin.
"We'll be giving them the respect they deserve. We have to be professional to get the job done.
"The Irish Cup tie is always special. There is always a bit of extra spice and this will be no different. We go into the game on the back of a great win over Carrick Rangers last weekend, so there will be no shortage of confidence in the camp."
Things are certainly on the up for Larne and McDaid believes the club is geared for the top - sooner or later.
"We've had a brilliant league campaign, so far," he added. "Promotion was our target right from the off. We are closing in on it.
"It's a matter of ticking off the games, keep picking up three points to get the job finished. We have a great squad and healthy competition for places.
"Everything is looking good the way things are developing on and off the pitch. The clubs is destined for better things - and deserves to be in the Premiership.
"Should it be this season or next season, the club certainly is on the way up in every aspect. From the top to the bottom, everything is geared for success.
"And, we will not be a one-season wonder - it's going to be a long-term project."