It was an absolute pleasure to welcome former Larne player Brian Quinn to the Larne Academy of Sport and Inver Park this week.
Brian is on a brief visit back to Northern Ireland from San Diego where he now calls home.
Brian began his senior playing career with Larne in 1978 and was involved in the infamous 1979 Irish Cup semi-final 1-0 defeat to Cliftonville, this after a 2-2 draw at The Oval.
At the end of the 1979 season Brian transferred to Everton spending the most of his two seasons in the reserve squad, unable to break into the first team on a regular basis.
In 1981, Brian moved to the US to join the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League. When the Aztecs folded at the end of the season, he moved to the Montreal Manic for 1982 and 1983 outdoor seasons. The Manic folded at the end of the 1983 season, and Quinn signed with the San Diego Sockers as they prepared for the 1983–1984 NASL indoor season. In 1984, he played the last NASL season with the Sockers. In the autumn of 1984, the Sockers jumped to the Major Indoor Soccer League as the NASL collapsed. He also played a season in the Canadian Soccer League in the late ’80s with the Hamilton Steelers. Brian played seven MISL seasons with the Sockers winning six championships. In 1987, he played one outdoor season with the Hamilton Steelers of the Canadian Soccer League. In August 1991, he announced that he was leaving the team to sign with the US national team. In October 1991, the national team sent Quinn on loan back to the Sockers until January 1992.
Brian then earned 48 caps for the US national team between 1991 and 1994 upon becoming an American citizen. A midfielder, he was a final cut for the 1994 World Cup squad. He scored his only international goal in a 3–0 win over Guatemala. He made his debut against the Republic of Ireland in a friendly played at Foxboro Stadium.
In February 1995, the San Diego Sockers, now playing in the Continental Indoor Soccer League, hired Brian to replace long-time head coach Ron Newman. In 1997, he became the head coach of the San Jose Clash of Major League Soccer as the youngest coach in league history, He then returned to the San Diego Sockers, remaining with them until the team ceased operations at the end of 2004, when he launched the Brian Quinn School of Soccer.
In 2008, he became an assistant coach with the University of San Diego men’s team. In addition, he furthers Youth Soccer Development as the Director of Younger Boys Soccer at the San Diego Soccer Club.
A wide and varied football odyssey that started at Inver Park.
Brian was welcomed to Larne by club Chairman Gareth Clements and his former team-mate George Bowden.