Tiernan Lynch isn’t underestimating the task in front of him and his players as AGF Aarhus arrive at Inver Park tomorrow – but has told his squad to relish the challenge.
The Danish Superliga side arrive for Thursday’s Europa Conference League second qualifying round tie fresh from drawing 1-1 with Brøndby in their league opener at the weekend.
Another sold out Inver Park awaits for the game with a 7.30pm kick-off and Lynch wants to meet the challenge head on.
“The players got last Friday off to rest, but the work began to prepare for the next challenge straight away,” he said.
“I refused point blank to look past the Bala Town game, because that was our sole focus, but once we knew we had qualified attention turned to this game.
“It was clear that Aarhus was always going to be a step up in quality, there was never any question about that. It’s a challenge – but that’s why we are here.
“We have talked about this before; we want to put a squad together to hopefully go deep into these competitions.
“So, if you are going to do that, you must go in against sides like Aarhus to see where it takes us. “
Larne made it to this stage courtest of a 2-0 aggregate win over Bala Town in the first round.
Ronan Hale’s eye-catching goal at Inver last week also ensured the Invermen won their first ever European home game – something which delighted the boss.
“I couldn’t have been prouder for everyone who is involved in the club,” Lynch said.
“We worked a lot in training leading up the Bala game on playing together and getting the new players up to speed on how we want to play as a team.
“I think you could see that pay off last week, compared to the away game and I thought we looked much more like ourselves.
“I’ve been asked the question a million times and have always answered it the same way, but having our fans makes all the difference to us.
“There have been so many occasions when the fans have dragged us over the line and made the difference for us in tight games or big games and I was so pleased to see the increased capacity with new stand open, against Bala.
“It was fitting that the winning goal had such quality and came at that end of the ground.
“I couldn’t be more pleased for Ronan Hale to open our new stand with a goal like that in front of fans.
“He is beginning to make a habit of hitting goals like that, we have seen it so often already in his year with the club.
“I know he wants to play all the time, but we’re working really hard with him and he is making brilliant progress and will continue to do so, I’ve no doubt about that.”
Tickets for Thursday’s game have now sold out, however you can watch live online for just £7, purchasing the game here: https://www.247.tv/gaa/niprem/video/1179179-larne-v-agf-thursday-22nd-jul-2021-7-30pm