David McDaid pride in Larne’s ‘amazing’ European dream
David McDaid is counting down the hours until Larne discover the first European opponents in club history - aware today’s draw will further realise a dream first sold to the striker back in 2017.
McDaid’s goals have played a central role in the rise of Larne from a club sitting bottom of the Irish League second tier when he signed over three years ago to inclusion in the Europa Conference League draw.
This summer will celebrate the arrival of European football to Inver Park and McDaid is relishing the landmark occasion as a reward for so many around the club and community who have embraced the Larne progress following Kenny Bruce’s significant financial investment.
“When I signed here, the club was sitting bottom of the Championship so now, over three years on, to be waiting to hear who we play for the first time ever in European competition is amazing really,” said McDaid. “I live in the Larne area so see every day what this club’s journey means to the people, not to mention so many directly involved in the club, from the owner down.
“It is a measure of the ambition that Kenny Bruce was basically talking about European football for Larne within five years...way back at the time when I signed with the club in a very different place.
“It has been a serious journey and amazing to be a part of it all...but the key thing is it doesn’t stop now.
“No-one is running around handing out pats on the back for anything achieved so far as the hunger is to keep pushing forward together.”
McDaid has scored on the European stage during previous spells with both Derry City and Cliftonville and is now thrilled at the prospect of lining out for Larne on such a showpiece platform.
“When I think of what it would mean to the fanbase to stand inside Inver Park and watch Larne play against a team in Europe for the first time...it is something really special,” said McDaid. “I think of fans I know who have followed the club across so many ups and downs, so it is going to be a wonderful occasion and hopefully we can have a good crowd in.
“From our viewpoint as a squad, it must be seen as another important marker in our progress together.”
Larne will join Coleraine and Glentoran as the Premiership representatives in the Europa Conference League draw. Linfield, as Premiership title winners, enter the Champions League draw.
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