A NEW season, a new captain, new signings and a renewed hope for Coleraine as Oran Kearney’s men continue to evolve.
Over the last two years Kearney has been working hard to build a squad capable of challenging the big boys. They have been knocking on the door, but for the Bannsiders boss this isn’t good enough - he is determined to crash the party.
It hasn’t been easy though with budgetary constraints and players like Curtis Allen moving on to pastures new, but the Ballymoney manis determined to succeed no matter what the job throws at him.
“I know people will say we’ve lost more players than we’ve brought in, but hand on heart I don’t see us any weaker,” he told Times Sport.
“I’m pleased with how things have gone for us. Literally once last season had finished I met with the board and we discussed the big changes we needed to make to the budget.
“And being honest everything has pretty much gone to plan. That will leave us a few thousand pounds below what I was asked to do. Some people might say that’s silly and that we should use our full budget. But since I’ve come here the budget has been reduced every summer so for me it’s vitally important that we don’t operate at the threshold.
“I think the players we have brought in will definitely strengthen the team. Another one for me and I might as well call him a new signing is Gareth Tommons. I think he’s probably in the best shape of his career. He’s put in a lot of hard work in the summer and you can see the energy levels he has now.
“I’ve evolved as a manager, when I first came here I suppose we had to clear the decks because of the finances and we brought in a lot of young lads. But every year we kept the best of the young players, continued to develop them and topped that up with a few experienced players.”