SMILING ASSASSIN

HIT MAN...Curtis Allen is itching to get started.'�2011 Derek Simpson
HIT MAN...Curtis Allen is itching to get started.'�2011 Derek Simpson

LIKE any good striker Curtis Allen has one thing on his mind - scoring goals.

The 23-year-old has been terrorising defences in the Irish League for the past four seasons during his spells at Distillery and Linfield.

And the Bannsiders new number nine isn’t planning on letting up any time soon.

“We all have different roles to play for the team, and scoring goals is at the top of my job description,” he told Times Sport.

“I had a good goals to games ratio when I was with Distillery and Linfield and I want to keep that going here at Coleraine.

“As a team though if we’re going to compete for honours we have to chip in with goals from all over the park.

“If we can do that then there’s no reason why we can’t push on this season and make a real impact.”

Allen is one of three new front men brought into the club this summer. And with the return of Leon Knight there is certainly some healthy competition for the striking berths.

“Everyone knows what big ‘Parky’ (Stephen Parkhouse) is all about,” said Allen.

“He’s strong, he flicks balls on, which suits me as I like running off the shoulder, so he’s the perfect foil for me.

“Shane’s (Jennings) done very well too and scored a few goals.

“He’s young and still learning, but he’s got a real chance of forcing his way into the team with the form he’s shown in pre-season.

“And now Leon is back in the equation, which is a massive boost for the club. He is a great striker who proved what he is capable of last season.

“So there is plenty of competition for places, which will only benefit the team.”

Allen has racked up a few goals in the pre-season games so far, but typically he feels he should have added a few more to his tally.

“I feel I’m doing alright so far, but I’m not particularly happy with my finishing to be honest,” he said.

“I was so disappointed to have missed the penalty over in Stranraer. I’ve never put a penalty over in my life, but it’s just one of those things.

“But I’m not going to let it get me down. I’m happy I’m getting into those positions and it is only pre-season.

“It’s important to build up your minutes on the pitch at this stage of the preparations, but as a striker you want to be scoring too.

“Any striker knows that if you’re scoring no matter who you’re playing against then you’re happy and your confidence is sky high.

“I’ve scored a few so far, but I’d like a couple more before the season starts.”

The former Bournemouth man is in the minority at The Showgrounds now as one of the few non-North West based players at the club following manager Oran Kearney’s summer rebuilding.

Allen though is feeling right at home on the North Coast.

“Yeah I’ve settled in well. It’s nice to be playing regularly again,” he said.

“The Stranraer trip was good for the team.

“Obviously there’s been a lot of new players come in over the summer so it was a chance for us all to get to know each other and bond as a team.

“There’s been about 10 or 11 new signings. Some of the lads have played together before, but as a team we need time to gel.

“And it gave the quiet lads a chance to come out of their shell a bit more.”

The trip to Stranraer was part of busy pre-season schedule for the Bannsiders, but Allen believes it will stand them in good stead for the forthcoming campaign.

“The season is almost upon us and we have to make sure we’re going into the Dungannon game firing on all cylinders,” he said.

“Oran has made it very clear from the outset that this is why you work hard in pre-season.

“There’s been a couple of games when our performances just haven’t been good enough and quite rightly the manager let us know about it.

“You have to make sure that you’re ready as it comes thick and fast.

“Dungannon is always a tricky place to go, but with the team we have and with our aspirations for the season ahead we have to be going there and taking three points.

“You want to get off to a good start and I want to get on the score sheet. We will be doing all we can to make sure that’s the case on Saturday.”