Coleraine want a fjord fiesta

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney. Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye.
Coleraine boss Oran Kearney. Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye.

Oran Kearney says his Coleraine side are determined to bring a positive result back from their Europa League qualifying tie in Norway.

The Bannsiders were paired with FK Haugesund in yesterday’s qualifying first round draw.

They currently sit ninth in the Norwegian Tippeligaen, but showed their quality at the weekend by beating kingpins Rosenborg 1-0.

Kearney knows it will be a tough test for his side, especially against a team who are well into their season, but he isn’t going there just to make up the numbers.

“When the teams were split into groups this morning they probably weren’t my first choice,” he admitted.

“They are full-time, in mid-season and have a few internationals in their side. The result against Rosenborg shows they have quality.

“But we won’t be going there for a jolly - we want to get something to bring back to Coleraine.

“With the first leg being away from home it’s vital to stay in the tie for the return leg to give ourselves a chance.

“An away goal would be perfect so that it was all to play for.

“We have waited a while to get back into Europe and we are determined to make it count.

“It’s important we take full advantage of this opportunity as the rewards are massive, so we will be taking it very seriously.

“It’s a quick turnaround now with only a week until we will be heading off.

“It all adds to the excitement. There’s a great buzz about the club, now that the draw has been made it has all become very real.

“We will be taking a good crowd out with us, in fact we are looking at increasing the size of the charter flight, which is brilliant.

“Their ground holds just under 10,000 and the playing surface is rated as one of the best in Norway, so that will suit our game.”