Black delighted to be back at Coleraine

Johnny Black has agreed a short-term deal to return to Coleraine. Photo Lorcan Doherty /
Johnny Black has agreed a short-term deal to return to Coleraine. Photo Lorcan Doherty /

Johnny Black may be returning back to Northern Ireland come the end of the summer, but he is also returning to the place he calls home.

The defender has agreed in principle a short term to rejoin Coleraine and he couldn’t be happier.

Black, who is currently plying his trade with the Oakleigh Cannons in the Victoria Premier League, will rejoin the Bannsiders for four months before heading back to Australia.

“I can’t wait to get back to the Showgrounds , I loved my time there,” Black told Times Sport from Australia.

“It started off so well, up until around December only to be ruined by a groin injury picked up due to two successive games on the artificial pitch at Solitude , which was frustrating.

“For the little time I spent there it was my most enjoyable time in football , and that’s even having played for the so called Belfast big two , and being a supporter of Linfield.

“They’re two great clubs but the happiest I’ve been in football was my time at Coleraine and I’m hoping it’s the same this time around also.

“I have a good relationship with most of the players, the manager , the chairman, the board and a lot of the fans. It’s a close knit club and I love everything about it.”

Black has been playing regularly Down Under but he said it was an easy decision to make to pull on a Coleraine shirt again.

“I didn’t have to think twice about it when Oran asked me to come back,” he said.

“Colin McKendry knew I was coming back in September and he and Oran asked me if I’d be interested in signing, it was a no-brainer.

“A few fans had asked me on Twitter where I would like to play when I came and my answer was basically ‘that’s a silly question’.

“I’m glad it is sorted this early. I’ll be available from the start of September until December 28th.

“I’m heading back to Australia for my second year, via Thailand for a month’s holiday before pre-season starts there at the end of January.

“I’m not sure if it will be in Melbourne again or Sydney, I have had offers to play in the National League in both cities.

“The standard is good, it is the league below the Hyundai A League.

“I would say that it is a bit better than the Irish League, Kevin Braniff and Ryan Burns, who have played in both also would say that too, but it’s just a matter of opinion.

“It’s total football here though, teams like to get the ball down and play. I think the league has improved me as a player but time will tell.”

Black is also enjoying the lifestyle on the other side of the world which must seem like a million miles from Northern Ireland at times.

“The lifestyle you can lead here is unbelieveable, there’s so much to do, you’re never bored.

“The soccer teams look after you very well, on and off the pitch, also I’m working too, so two incomes makes it easy to do what I want.

“For anyone that is thinking of coming here I’d strongly advise it, even if it’s just a holiday, the East Coast is unbelieveable, it’s a must see .

“I’m certainly not looking forward to the winter back home anyway!”

Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney is delighted to have Black back on noard again.

Kearney believes the full back will have a positive impact both on and off the pitch at The Showgrounds.

“Johnny was only here for one season but the impact he had was superb,” Kearney told Times Sport.

“He came in and hit the ground running and I would expect him to do the same this time around.

“He is playing at a decent level in Australia and is playing well.

“I think Johnny would admit he is probably in the best shape of his career at the minute so he will be coming back and slot straight in.

“And with him only being here for four months it is important that he can make an immediate impact.

“It was always my objective in this window to bring in people who would come into our first eleven and Johnny certainly fits the bill.

“He is also a big character and will be someone who will also add a lot off the pitch also.

“He knows a lot of the squad obviously so there will be no problem in him feeling at home.

“Johnny will also add to our goal threat. As we all know his left foot is a real weapon and he will chip in with afew goals along the way.

“Hopefully he will also help creat a few too with his set piece delivery.

“He is also able to slot into a number of different positions too which is very appealing.

“Johnny obviously slotted in at left back when he was with us before but he has been playing at centre half and centre midfield in Australia which is good for us.

“That versatility will come in handy I’m sure during the season as people are going to pick up injuries and suspensions.

“Overall I’m delighted to be able to bring Johnny back to the club. I have to say a big thank you to the Chairman, Colin McKendry for making the deal possible.”