CURTIS Allen is a man on a mission.
After a frustrating two-year spell at Linfield, Coleraine’s latest signing is aiming to get back to doing what he does best - scoring goals.
The former Bournemouth and Distillery striker admitted he was ‘surprised and disappointed’ not to be offered an new deal at Windsor Park.
But after signing on the dotted line for his new club he told Times Sport it could be a blessing in disguise as he is excited about the challenge ahead at The Showgrounds.
“It was disappointing not to be offered a new deal at Linfield and it did come as a bit of a surprise, but it’s one of those things,” said the 23-year-old.
“I spoke to Davy (Jeffrey) and he told me that he wasn’t going to offer me a new contract, but hopefully it will turn out to be a blessing in disguise for me.
“I didn’t play as much as I would have liked to at Linfield, but I don’t think I had a bad career there. I started 46 games and scored 27 goals, I think any striker would be happy with that.
“I’m not going away with any bad feelings. Some of the fans maybe didn’t take to me as well as I’d hoped.
“But I always played for the shirt and when I did play I always did my best and tried to score and help the team.
“But I’m looking forward to playing against them next season. I’ve made the move to Coleraine to get more regular football and hopefully show what I’m capable of.
“As a striker you need to be playing regularly. I showed what I can do when I was at Distillery and that got me the move to Linfield.
“I understand that Linfield have a massive squad and that there’s a lot of competition for places, but it’s hard to take when you’re not playing.
“I was left out of two Irish Cup final squad, which was heart breaking for me.
“But it just didn’t work out for me there, this is a new step for me and one which I’m looking forward to.
“I suppose I will be out to prove a point to a certain degree as they didn’t offer me a new deal. Hopefully I can show them they made a mistake.
“I’m happy I’m here now and I’m looking forward to the challenge and the season which lies ahead.
“I had a few different options to take. Every time I’ve played here though I’ve always been impressed with the fans who are obviously very passionate about their team.
“When I sat down and weighed everything up this was by far the best move for me.
“The goals Oran has for Coleraine are excellent and hopefully I can help him achieve them. He explained to me what he has done and what he plans to do and it’s all very exciting.
“People will say it’s a statement of ambition from the club bringing me here, but it’s a statement of ambition from me too that I believe this club is going places. I’m more than happy to be here and I just can’t wait to get started now.
“Oran has a target and hopefully we can push on and achieve it. Obviously the top six has to be in our sights, but I’d like to think we won’t just settle for that.
“Perhaps Coleraine underachieved last season, but the new lads that have come in are determined to help the club push on this season.
“Linfield are going to be tough to overcome, but they have shown their weaknesses in the past couple of years.
“Crusaders have closed the gap on them over the last couple of years and I firmly believe Coleraine can do the same.
“The rest of the league is pretty close. The Crues showed last season if you can put a run of results together you can fly up the table.”
Allen is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Rory Patterson and Leon Knight by racking up the goals for the Bannsiders.
Rory did wonders in the league during his season here, and Leon racked up the goals last season too. If I can do the same it will be brilliant, that’s what I’ll be aiming for,” he said.
“Hopefully I can start the season well and get a goal under my belt early on and kick on from there. My big strength is scoring goals, I play on the shoulder and I like to make runs in behind the defence, hopefully I can carry things on here at Coleraine.”
The front man is clearly impressed with new boss and what he is trying to achieve at The Showgrounds.
“Oran has been there and done it,” said Allen. “I spoke with the guys who played with him at Linfield and nobody has a bad word to say about him.
“He’s a top man, who is showing what a good manager he is and I know he’s going to be brilliant for Coleraine.
“He explained to me what he has done and what he plans to do and it’s all very exciting.
“Coleraine is definitely a club on the up and you get the feeling something big is just around the corner.”