It's a dream come true for Brad Lyons as he completes Blackburn Rovers switch
Brad Lyons said it was a 'dream come true' as he completed his move to Championship side Blackburn Rovers.
The Coleraine midfielder finally received confirmation on Tuesday that his transfer to the Ewood Park outfit had been confirmed.
Speaking after the Bannsiders 3-0 win over Crusaders on Monday night Lyons said he was looking forward to the challenge, but admitted there was a bit of sadness in leaving his boyhood team.
"It's my dream come true, I'm going to become a professional footballer, it's all I've ever wanted from I was a young boy," he said.
"But it's hard too because I'm leaving a family club like Coleraine.
"It's been crazy since deadline day on Friday trying to get the deal over the line trying to get it right for both clubs and myself.
"But finally we have got it done and I'm absolutely buzzing for it.
The Coleraine fans gave the 21-year-old a rapturous ovation as he joined his former team-mates on the pitch at Seaview at the end of the game.
And Lyons was quick to thank boss Oran Kearney, his staff and the players for helping him become the player he has.
"I have to thank Oran and the backroom staff so much thanks for giving me an opportunity to play at such a young age and to get the experience I needed," he said.
"Yes I have to go on and produce on the pitch, but they're the ones who put me out there.
"Also a special mention to everyone I have played with at Coleraine, they have helped make me the player I am today.
"I've always supported Coleraine, and you can see the bond we have in the dressing room, we're all like best mates.
"And the fans are superb, the reception they gave me tonight was unreal.
"I'll be keeping a close eye on the Coleraine results every week.
"Coleraine will always be my Irish League team, Hopefully someday I'll be back here playing for them again."
Lyons is looking forward to linking up with fellow Northern Irish man Damien Johnston at Ewood Park, who coaches the club's Under-23 side.
"I'll be heading over later this week and then it will be straight into training, getting the head down and working hard," he said.
"I worked very closely with Damien when I was over on trial at the start of the season.
"He's a great coach, but he's an even better mentor.
"I was over there in a completely new environment but he took me under his wing, gave me video analysis of the game I played in.
"It's going to be really good for me having someone like that at the club."
Lyons is the third member of Coleraine's Irish Cup winning team to make a move to full time football, and he believes he can go and make a real impact across the water.
"I've been keeping a close eye on all the boys who have moved across especially Steven Dooley and Martin Smith who were with us last year," he said.
"They are an inspiration to me, and they are smashing it up over there.
"I ask myself 'why can't I go over there and do that too?'."