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John Herron: It's easy to play football at free-flowing Larne with a boss like Tiernan Lynch



Happy days: John Herron says he is loving life at Inver Park

Happy days: John Herron says he is loving life at Inver Park

INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

Happy days: John Herron says he is loving life at Inver Park

Larne's John Herron has hailed the influence of manager Tiernan Lynch ahead of tomorrow's Toals County Antrim Shield decider against Glentoran.

Lynch prefers to heap the praise on his players for what has been achieved at Inver Park in recent years but it is clear there is much respect for the boss in the dressing room.

Without owner Kenny Bruce pouring millions into his hometown side, there would have been no revolution at Larne but Lynch has also played a key role in turning the east Antrim outfit into a force in Irish League football.

Former Celtic midfielder Herron joined earlier this year from tomorrow's opponents and is loving life at his latest club.

"I have always spoken highly of Mick McDermott and Windy (Paul Millar) at Glentoran and have a lot of gratitude towards them. Glentoran was professional but coming to Larne is even more professional," said Herron.

"The manager (Lynch) tries to play down what he does but everything is drilled into us and there is great detail in all that he does. He is here first every morning and is the last one to leave and he's probably up all night as well looking at his laptop and the work he has to do. The amount of effort him and his staff put in dictate how we play.

"We are the lucky ones that go out on the pitch and put his ideas into practice.

"Everyone is pushing in the right direction. We all complement each other. The gaffer and the management staff get the best out of people here by making them happy and keeping them happy.

"The gaffer asked me the other day if I was enjoying it and I said 'it's easy to play here' and he laughed but it honestly is because I'm playing with players who want to have the ball.

"Also the gaffer gives me so much freedom and the biggest thing for me more than anything is that he allows you to make mistakes.

"Obviously no one wants to make mistakes but when you are allowed that freedom and he has that belief in you, it is easy to play here especially when you have players like Marty Donnelly, Fudzer (Fuad Sule) and Mark Randall because they want to play the same way."

Herron adds that at Larne it is a town ethic as much as a club one.

"From minute one when you meet the gaffer and Kenny especially about signing, the first thing he instills into you is that you aren't just signing for a football club, you are signing for a town and trying to bring back the happy days," explained the Scotsman.

"When I was at Glentoran, everyone spoke about the fans and wanting success back but since I moved up to Larne you go through the town and everyone is asking you about the team. Everyone knows how much Kenny has put into the club but you don't realise how much he puts into the town."

On no fans being at the Seaview final due to Covid restrictions, Herron said: "It is sad for both teams because Glentoran and us have a big support and the place would have been bouncing.

"We have to get on with it and our aim will be to win the match for our fans and put smiles on their faces and then have a party down the line."

Belfast Telegraph