Three new board additions as Smyth becomes President

Sep 21, 2020 | Archive

Larne Football Club is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to the Club’s board, alongside Archie Smyth taking up the role of our new Honorary President.

Neil Clarke, David Hunter and Joel Neill have all agreed to join the board ahead of the 2020/21 season. 

Neil is someone with a proven track record in secretarial, administrative and club representative roles within both football and rugby. We believe that these strengths, coupled with matchday management experience at Windsor Park for international games, will prove to be a great benefit to the Club. 

Joel Neill is a long time Larne supporter who currently works as Operations Director with Hospitality Ulster, and we look forward to him adding value in the hospitality and media areas of the club.  

David Hunter is a well-respected local businessman and entrepreneur, who heads up the Acceptable Enterprises Larne & Clearer Water brands.  

He is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the Non-profit Organization Management industry.  

We are delighted all three have agreed to take up the position of board members at Inver Park. 

Archie Smyth, meanwhile, has been involved at Inver Park since 2008, in the capacity of either chairman or club secretary. 

He admits he is humbled to have now been offered the post of Honorary President. 

He said: “Over the years you pick up a lot that you hope to pass on when there is someone else who can come into the role after yourself.  

“I think back to the people who mentored me and helped me and so I want to do that for other people. 

“I’ll certainly be glad to offer my experience if and when it’s needed and I’m looking forward to being part of the club in this new role. 

“I’m very thankful to be offered this and very gladly accepted when given the chance.” 

Speaking about Archie’s new position and the addition of the three new board members, Chairman Gareth Clements said: “Very few positives have come out of Covid lockdown. The one thing it allowed however, was both Tiernan and I an extended period of reflection, on where we are, where we have come from and where we still aspire to get to, both on and off the pitch.

“Tiernan and the backroom team have worked hard on their game model for this season and the personnel required to deliver it, I in turn have looked at the boardroom and proposed a few additions to complement the skill sets that we already have around the table.

“Although small in number, our board members all have areas of ownership that play them to their personal strengths. I felt that we were a little light in a few areas and we have acted to address those, in order to help us both grow and future proof ourselves somewhat.

“In terms of governance, administration, business acumen, hospitality and media knowledge, the appointments of Neil, Joel and David I believe will take us to the next level. I certainly look forward to working with them and indeed learning from them.

“As part of the proposed changes, Archie Smyth has agreed to move ‘upstairs’ as such and take on the role of Honorary President.

“Archie has been exceptional with me personally in the three years I have been back at the club, he has been there for me to bounce off and I have appreciated it.

“Although no longer on the board Archie will still very much be around, and be a trusted advisor to help Neil Clarke settle in. The experience and knowledge Archie has cannot be bought, it is important that we harvest and develop this for the future.

“As with the naming of the McKay Stand to recognize the work Mervyn McKay put into Larne Football Club down the years, one of the new developments at Inver Park will be named after Archie to leave a suitable legacy for his family to be proud of.

“Could I ask that when you see Neil, Joel and David next, you extend a warm Inver Park welcome to them.”

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