IRISH CUP FINAL: ‘We can be heroes’ says Coleraine manager

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney has issued his rallying call ahead of tomorrow's big game.

Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney has issued his rallying call ahead of tomorrow's big game. Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

Oran Kearney has challenged his players to write themselves in Coleraine folklore with victory tomorrow.

The Bannsiders boss knows how highly regarded the club’s former heroes are around The Showgrounds, and he wants this current crop of stars to write their own little piece of history.

Speaking at the club’s end of season dinner on Saturday night he said: “Since Christmas the big wheels clicked and they kept turning and turning, and they are still turning at this point in time.

“The Irish Cup hasn’t been good to us as a club during my tenure here, but finally we have reached that point where we are there and we have got what we wanted.

“It means so much to this area and everyone in it for us to be there and bring the trophy back next week.

“What I want to be doing in 15 or 20 years time when we have won a lot more medals and Coleraine will be in another cup final and we will be back here to reminisce and to talk about what happen all those years ago.”

Kearney knows a thing or two about winning finals having been part of the all-conquering Linfield squad under David Jeffrey a decade ago.

But his pride in leading the Bannsiders out for their first Irish Cup final in almost decade is there for all to see.

“To walk out on cup final day with Luca and Ava in my hand and lead the team out in front of a big crowd at Windsor Park will be absolutely brilliant,” he said.

“As a player I’ve only ever won cup finals, and to experience that is brilliant, but I dread to think what it must be like to be on the losing side.

“It’s something we have talked about in the changing room.”

Kearney also has so much pride in his players and what they have achieved this season.

“We have had 16 outfield players who have been available for most of the season occupying ten positions for 46/47 games so far.

“That effort alone has been phenomenal.

“I have three centre halves - David Ogilby, Steven Douglas and Gareth McConaghie - and only once this season have I had to play Adam Mullan at centre half because those three have shared the two spaces between them for the rest of the games.

“It’s absolutely fantastic and can’t speak highly enough about those guys.

“It has been a serious effort by every player this season.”

“I’m so proud of them all.

“Have we got a perofrmance at Windsor? We do. Have we got a big win in us? Yes I’ve seen it several times this season.

“We just need to harness it now and make sure it comes to the fore.”