Kearney looking forward to Glens opener

Oran Kearney is relishing facing Glentoran in the season opener.   photo:Derek Simpson Mandatory Credit

Oran Kearney is relishing facing Glentoran in the season opener. photo:Derek Simpson Mandatory Credit

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Coleraine boss Oran Kearney was a happy man after the fixtures for the new Danske Bank Premiership season were revealed last Friday.

The Bannsiders will entertain Irish Cup winners Glentoran in the opener on Saturday 8th August, before playing Cliftonville, Linfield and Ballymena in the first month.

Kearney though is glad the fixture computer has thrown up what on paper looks like a tough start.

“I’m delighted with the fixtures,” he told Times Sport on Friday.

“Everyone will be ready for the start of the season, but these games just gives it a bit more emphasis.

“I know people will be saying it’s a tough start, but you will have to play these teams sooner rather than later in our league, and there are no easy games.

“I remember a couple of seasons ago we had a similar start and we racked up some positive results and we will be aiming for the same this time around.

“All you can hope for with the opening game is that it’s at home. We’ve got that and it’s against a big team which suits us perfectly.

“As a player I relished these games and I know our guys do too, the adrenalin will certainly be pumping.

“Hopefully we’ll have a big crowd and a great atmosphere, and get off to the 
perfect start.

“We want to get the feelgood factor back and we will be working hard to create that.

“The fans also have a big part to play and I’d ask them to get behind us from the start and and help drive us on this season.”

The Bannsiders were back in training last week and Kearney was delighted with the efort and application from the squad.

“We weighed the players at the end of the season and weighed them last week again and I have to say everyone was bang on their weight,” he said.

“They have been looking after themselves and working hard since the end of the season, which is 
very pleasing.

“We also gave the young players a programme designed by Ghris Gregg in a bid to bulk them up over the summer and they are on target too with them all putting on a few good pounds ahead of the new campaign.

“They all worked very hard in the sessions last week, I couldn’t have asked for anymore from them. Their attitude and application was first class.

“The new players also looked very sharp, it all bodes very well.”

Kearney also revealed he is still on the lookout to bolster his squad.