Kofi Balmer targets Larne ‘challenge’ in Premiership title race
Kofi Balmer has highlighted the opportunity for full-time football on home soil as “something you can’t say no to” following confirmation as Larne’s third summer signing.
Balmer is the latest recruitment for the Inver Park outfit in the aftermath of a double goalkeeper swoop last week - but the defender agreed terms on a pre-contract move from Ballymena back in February.
Balmer will join shot-stoppers Rohan Ferguson and Mike Argyrides as fresh faces within a Larne squad now preparing for the Europa Conference League draw later this week following recent domestic play-off final success over Cliftonville to cap continued Premiership progress.
Balmer, who was recently awarded the captain’s armband for Northern Ireland under 21s’ meeting with Scotland, arrives bolstered by over 100 first-team appearances at club level with Ballymena United since his senior arrival.
The winner of the Ulster Young Footballer of the Year award in 2019 was offered a first-team debut for Ballymena at 16 years old.
Balmer brings impressive Irish League experience at 20 years old on top of having represented Ballymena in European competition.
“The chance to be full-time in your own country is something you can’t say no to,” said Balmer on the official Larne club website to celebrate his arrival. “Speaking to Tiernan (Lynch, manager) you realise that everything that happens here is top quality.
“In terms of how the team train, work in the gym and look after their diet.
“Hearing that gives you a lot of confidence coming here.
“My ultimate ambition is to be able to play full-time across the water and it’s a massive to be part of what’s going on here as I look to kick-on.
“I was fortunate to be able to get games under my belt at Ballymena.
“Although I feel experienced in terms of games played, I know I have plenty to learn and you have players like Albert Watson at the club who has been there and done it and someone who will be good to learn from.
“As a club you want to progress every year as well.
“Larne have been doing that and, hopefully, we can continue it on.
“We’d love to be able to challenge the likes of Linfield, Glentoran and Coleraine to be in and around that title race and we’ll work hard to try to do that.”
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