COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney is looking forward to pitting his wits against one of the League of Ireland’s top sides as the Bannsiders prepare to take on Shamrock Rovers in tonight’s Setanta Cup first round clash at the Tallaght Stadium.
This is only the second time the Ballycastle Road outfit have featured in the all Ireland competition and Kearney is determined to make the most of it.
“We are over the moon to be involved in the Setanta Cup,” he said.
“I don’t see it as a chore or anything like that. We worked so hard last season to get into the top-six and finish as high as we could, and this is the reward.
“There is no point treating it like a chore when it arrives, so I won’t be fielding a weakened team or anything like that. We want to go down there and try and get a positive result - something we can bring back to the Ballycastle Road.
“Shamrock Rovers are in pre-season, but I think they have played a couple of friendlies.
“I know they have made a lot of changes from last season but they will be strong.
“They are like the Linfield of the League of Ireland. They had a disappointing season last year and I think they had a clear out and made a few changes.
“You expect them to be flying, but I suppose the advantage we have is that we are up to speed and in the middle of our season.
“The only downside is that we had an energy-sapping game on Saturday against Ballymena United. It isn’t ideal we only have 48 hours recovery.”