Kearney’s men raring to go

Oran Kearney has challenged his young players like Lyndon Kane to raise the bar this season again. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye

Oran Kearney has challenged his young players like Lyndon Kane to raise the bar this season again. Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye

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Last season may not have finished in the way Coleraine boss Oran Kearney would have liked, but he still has plenty of optimism for the new campaign.

The Bannsiders missed out on a shot at European football and a financial windfall after their Euro Play-off defeat by Glentoran.

But the new season cannot come quick enough for Kearney and his young stars, who are determined to be up there fighting again this time round.

“The very first night of pre-season it was great to come in and see everyone again as we had all left on a sour note after the Glens game,” said Kearney..

“In football though you forget and move on very quickly, it’s all about the next game and the next ball.

“You hope the players have learned from it and it helps us get three points somewhere this season.

“It wasn’t nice to experience that, but we have to being aiming to put ourselves in that position again this season hopefully with a different outcome at the end of it.”

Kearney has been very pleased with how his have performed since coming back from their break.

On Saturday they wrapped up their pre-season programme with a comfortable 3-0 win over Dergview.

They are now looking forward to the real action starting this Saturday when Portadown visit The Showgrounds.

“We’re all chomping at the bit now, evryone can’t wait for it to get started now,” he said.

“Pre-season has been brilliant for us.

“We’ve worked hard, as hard as we have in every other season. We had a really good start last season, and you just hope the same work ethic this time around will bring the same results.

“The key thing for me is there has been no injuries and we’ve come through today again unscathed.

“Players have to play games to get fit but at the same time you put yourself at risk of picking up an injury.

“Thankfully Rodney Brown is the only real injury we’ve suffered durin g pre-season, and that was an impact injury not a tear or a strain. He has trained on Saturday which is a big boost for us.

“I have an idea about who will start next Saturday, but it wasn’t on show today.

“Ideally we would probably have liked to have played Portadown two or three games in.

“They have signed quite a lot of new players, a few from down south, and they’re coming here as an unknown quantity as such.

“With other teams you would be looking at the team sheet and have a rough idea where everyone will play.

“So it’s not ideal from that point of view, it would have been handier five or six games in when you could have rang a few people and asked how they played.”