It was definitely a case of mixed emotions for Coleraine’s latest recruit, Joe McCready, on Saturday.
The 27-year-old looked to have made the dream debut after joining the Bannsiders from neighbours Limavady United as he bagged a brace against Ballyclare Comrades.
But the striker was forced to leave the action on a stretcher following a hefty tackle in the friendly encounter at The Showgrounds.
However, much to the relief of new boss Oran Kearney news filtered through that McCready had not suffered any serious injury to add to Coleraine’s injury woes.
Speaking after the game Kearney admitted he has been a fan of McCready for a while and believes the time is right for the former Institute man to make the grade in the Danske Bank Premiership.
“I have watched Joe a lot in the last year,” he said.
“I’m very close to Paul Owens and have kept in contact about how he was playing at Limavady.
“A lot of people throughout the league know about Joe’s quality and we just wanted to ensure that he was able to sustain a year in the top flight.”
McCready played a key role in Limavady’s successful season last year, and Kearney wants his latest recruit to kick on after a promising debut.
“He showed last season at Limavady that the penny has dropped and he has knuckled down,” he said.
“There is no doubt about his quality and you could see that in his performance against Ballyclare.
“Hopefully he uses that as a springboard to kick on for the rest of the season.”