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Larne’s Fuad Sule reflects on ‘surreal’ realisation of European dream as his ‘massive gamble’ move pays off

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Fuad Sule joined Larne when the Inver Park was still in the Championship and admits he took some flak for the decision.

Fuad Sule joined Larne when the Inver Park was still in the Championship and admits he took some flak for the decision.

Fuad Sule joined Larne when the Inver Park was still in the Championship and admits he took some flak for the decision.

A first step into Europe coupled with a win at the first time of asking and Larne fans are left pinching themselves after years in the wilderness.

Davy McDaid’s early goal against Welsh club Bala Town in Oswestry on Thursday night was enough to bring home the bacon for the Inver Park boys, setting up a tantalising return leg this Thursday.

For midfielder Fuad Sule, this was truly a dream come true as he had always yearned to play in Europe and has now fulfilled that ambition.

He says the full implications of an historic victory will likely not sink in for quite some time but sees the win as validation and vindication for his move from Barnet to Larne.

“It’s a good feeling, to be part of history for the club and be the first team to play in Europe for Larne,” says the 24-year-old Dubliner.

“To think that just two and a half years ago, this club was at the bottom of the Championship, struggling badly, yet have just claimed their first win in Europe is incredible.

“I think that, because we are living in the moment, we don’t realise what we have achieved together and don’t perhaps appreciate the full significance of it.

“Since I was a kid playing football on the streets of Dublin, I always wanted to be a professional footballer and always wanted to play in Europe.

“Had you told me that would happen with Larne, I would have looked at you because, to be quite honest, two and a half years ago I didn’t know the place existed!

“On a personal note, it was a massive gamble for me to sign for Larne back then and there was a lot of negative energy coming my way about the move.

“People were asking me why I was signing for a Championship side but I saw the vision, the project and I listened to the manager (Tiernan Lynch) and the club owner (Kenny Bruce).

“They were part of the reason I joined and obviously Kenny’s support has enabled the club to grow, but they are just ingredients, they don’t guarantee success in terms of winning trophies.

“To see the club grow, with all the support from the community in the town, is fantastic. It’s a bit surreal actually to see a club from a small town compete and win in Europe, but it is a good feeling.”

The job is only half done, however, as Sule offers an insight into the philosophy of the players.

“We celebrated in the changing room afterwards but it wasn’t long before we began focusing on the return leg, that’s how this club works, what’s done is done, you always look ahead,” he explains.

“It’s all about attitude and mentality and if we can get those right, hopefully we can deliver again.”


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