Striker Davy McDaid insists Larne face a step up in class when they go head-to-head with AGF Aarhus in tomorrow night’s Europa Conference League second qualifying round first leg showdown at Inver Park.
Tiernan Lynch’s boys did fantastically well on their European debut, winning both legs of their first-round tie with Welsh League side Bala Town.
It was McDaid who hit the all-important goal in the away game in Shropshire, while Ronan Hale bagged a screamer last week in front of the team’s delirious home fans.
Although Larne’s incredible Euro exploits have so far helped add a cool €55k (£47.5k) to their coffers, McDaid warns things will not be so handy against the Danes.
“Bala were tough opponents and we managed to get through both games without any serious injury or red cards, but Aarhus will certainly be a step up in class,” said McDaid.
“They are quite a big club in Denmark, so it was a lot easier to get information on them and the boss (Tiernan Lynch) has been doing his homework.
“We know we must bring our A game to both ties. It would be great if we could get a positive result at Inver Park and keep the game alive for the return match.
“I suppose it’s a no-lose situation for us because we’ll go into the game as underdogs. We know we must turn in a 10 out of 10 performance and for them to have a bad day at the office.
“Anyone who knows football knows that Scandinavian clubs are excellent and are difficult to play against.
“Even if they are not as well known as some of the big guns in European football, teams from Denmark are notoriously well drilled and coached. Just look at how the country performed at the Euros recently.”
McDaid believes the club reaching the second qualifying round of a tournament on their European debut is a feat in itself.
“It was the stuff of dreams,” added McDaid. “The club has made enormous strides in the last three years, which is a relatively short timeframe in football. It just shows what can be done.
“It was a special night for the club (against Bala), the team and the fans. It was great that we were able to share that experience together.
“To make it that little bit special, our owner Kenny Bruce was at the game with his family and close friends.
" It was good to give him a taste of how his money is being put to good use.
“There have been a lot of hard times for the fans over the past 18 months, so it was great to see them back in the stands again, cheering us on.
“We know this will be a different challenge. We would be foolish to think otherwise, although strange things can happen in football. We will go into the game and give it our all.”
McDaid and his boys are bracing themselves for another night of soaring temperatures.
He added: “It’s going to be another warm, humid night, something we are not used to over here. We’ve got used to playing and training in the heat over the past week or so.
"A packed Inver Park on a sunny night – that will be hard to beat.”