Europa Conference League
Danske Bank Premiership sides have been placed on high alert after Larne duo Conor Devlin and Martin Donnelly were placed on the transfer list.
Although Devlin has had to deal with injury problems, the imminent exit of the two influential and experienced players has surprised supporters.
Donnelly, in particular, has been in superb form for the Invermen and a race for his signature will get under way with Glentoran expected to be among the interested parties.
The former Crusaders and Cliftonville winger was a 67th-minute substitute on Thursday as Larne defeated Bala Town 1-0 to seal progress in the Europa Conference League.
The club stated: “Larne Football Club can confirm that following discussions between players and the club, Conor Devlin and Marty Donnelly have been made available for transfer.
“Both players arrived at Larne from Cliftonville in the summer of 2017 and January 2018 respectively and helped the club to promotion to the Danske Bank Premiership, the County Antrim Shield in 2020 and European qualification for the first time, during their stay at the club.
“Conor will continue his rehabilitation from injury at the club and, following this, will be available for transfer, while Marty is available with immediate effect.
“There will be no further comment from the club at this time.”
Larne boss Tiernan Lynch, meanwhile, just couldn’t harness his delight following his team’s historic Europa Conference League qualifying win over Bala Town at Inver Park on Thursday night.
The east Antrim club’s European record now reads two played, two wins, two goals scored, none conceded. Impressive stats indeed, the stuff of dreams.
After racking up a victory on their Euro debut last week against the Welsh League side, Lynch’s boys completed the job in front of their fanatical supporters courtesy of substitute Ronan Hale’s wonder strike late on – he only replaced Davy McDaid nine minutes earlier. It was another proud chapter in the club’s 132-year history.
There were scenes of raw emotion at the finish. Don’t forget, this was a team playing in the Championship just over three years ago. Now, they are rubbing shoulders with Europe’s best.
Larne will now face crack Danish outfit AGF Aarhus in a second qualifying round showdown again at Inver Park next Thursday night.
“Work will now begin to prepare for our next challenge,” beamed Lynch.
“I refused point blank to look past the Bala Town game.
“I don’t know anything about Aarhus, so the homework begins now.
“It will be a step up in quality, there is no question about that. But it’s a challenge – that’s why we are here.
“We have talked about this before; we want to put a squad together to hopefully go deep into these competitions.
“If you are going to do that, you must go in against sides like Aarhus to see where it takes us.”
Larne produced their latest piece of history in front of owner Kenny Bruce, whose financial clout has helped his hometown club become a force in Irish League football.
Lynch added: “I couldn’t be prouder for everyone who is involved in the club.
“There has been a lot of work, time and effort put in to get the stadium ready and the team. Everything just seemed right, especially as we did it in front of our owner, Kenny Bruce.
“And I couldn’t be more pleased for Ronan (Hale) to open our new stand with a goal like that in front of home fans.
“He is beginning to make a habit of hitting goals like that. We had a plan to bring him on, he was told he had to score at the bottom end.”