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Irish Premiership: How Larne retained the Gibson Cup

Written by on April 28, 2024

Larne lost two big players in the summer who were key to their title winning campaign as Fuad Sule departed for Glentoran and Graham Kelly joined Coleraine.

Craig Farquhar then sealed a moved to Premier League side Crystal Palace in January after a fine start to the season.

Sule and Kelly spent five years at Inver Park and both amassed over 100 appearances for the club, helping Larne to win promotion from the Championship, three County Antrim Shield titles and the Gibson Cup.

The loss of Sule in particular was a tough one for many Larne fans to swallow, but the club used their vast scouting network and brought in a fine replacement in Jaziel Orozco.

The 19-year-old arrived on loan from Real Salt Lake City and took some time to get up to speed in the Irish Premiership, but has since been a solid presence in defensive midfield. The biggest compliment that can be paid to the young midfielder is that Sule’s absence has not been noticed.

Larne were also able to upgrade on Kelly by enticing Cliftonville captain Ives to Inver Park, who was one of six Larne players to make the Irish Premiership Team of the Year, and they also snapped up Ballymena’s Sean Graham for further cover in defence.

Like in January last year, Larne were proactive in the transfer market this year and added Chris Gallagher from Cliftonville and free agent Williams, two players who have slotted in seamlessly since their arrivals.

Gallagher has brought his impressive form with Cliftonville to Inver Park, adding goals to his game by playing in a more advanced position whilst Williams’ physical presence has been key in the absence of the injured Bolger and Want.

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