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I’ll give my all as both coach at Larne and player at Carrick: Andy Mitchell


Larne Academy coach Andy Mitchell is on loan at Carrick

Larne Academy coach Andy Mitchell is on loan at Carrick

Larne Academy coach Andy Mitchell is on loan at Carrick

Andy Mitchell is intent on giving everything he has in his new coaching role at Larne and as a player at Carrick Rangers following a loan move away from Inver Park.

It may be a unique situation, working for two Irish League clubs in different capacities, but it is one the 30-year-old is certain can work for all parties.

Mitchell is a highly regarded midfielder who was with Rangers before coming home to win Irish Premiership titles with Crusaders and Linfield prior to a move to Larne in 2020.

Since then, he has helped Tiernan Lynch’s side secure back-to-back European qualifications and County Antrim Shield triumphs, though he was not a regular last season and is determined to play first-team football.

He will get that at Carrick, who beat off competition from a host of other Irish League sides to land him on loan for the coming season, with manager Stuart King saying acquiring the midfielder “is a massive statement from the club”.

Another clever move came from Larne, whose owner Kenny Bruce and manager Lynch appreciate Mitchell’s dedication to the game and desire to become a coach, appointing him as a full-time member of their Scholarship programme within the Academy programme at Inver.

Mitchell will play for Carrick and train with them at night while working day to day with the Under-18s at Larne, helping them fulfil their potential.

“Tiernan came to me at the end of last season saying there was an opportunity to take the Under-18s and I felt it was a good opportunity and something that really interested me,” explains Mitchell.

“He knew I didn’t want to stop playing so we decided I would do the coaching role and go out on loan to play for a part-time team.

“I spoke to several clubs and opted to join Carrick. It is going to be a different challenge for me at Carrick than at Crusaders, Linfield and Larne but I loved Stuart King’s enthusiasm, how he works and what he said about my role. I think Stuart is building a good team there and I still feel I have lots to offer and am looking forward to the new challenge.

“With the coaching, I’m delighted with how Larne and Tiernan have handled everything.

“I want to see Larne do well. I’m proud to have been part of an historic period in the club’s history with the team going into Europe for the first time and winning the County Antrim Shield and playing in the Irish Cup Final.

“For Larne now, my role will be to bring young players through and help the club, Kenny and Tiernan achieve more in the future.

“As a coach, I want to pass on my knowledge and help the kids at Larne. There is a lot of good talent at Larne and I want to see players move into the first team or get a chance to go across the water and progress their careers.

“I believe this is a really positive step for me, Larne and Carrick. I see myself as a Larne coach and a Carrick player and I’ll give my very best to both.”

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