Kearney looks to the future as Mullan shines

Aaron Burns clears Eoin Bradley's header off the line at the back post. PICTURE: Derek Simpson
Aaron Burns clears Eoin Bradley's header off the line at the back post. PICTURE: Derek Simpson

Oran Kearney is hoping the production line of talented young players at The Showgrounds is about to start rolling as he prepares for another budget cut.

Given the financial climate the Bannsiders boss knows another reduction in his playing budget is very likely come the end of the season.

Andrew Waterworth loses out to Adam Mullan.

Andrew Waterworth loses out to Adam Mullan.

And after Saturday’s goalless draw with high-flying Linfield Kearney stressed just how important it was for the Academy to start bearing fruit.

In Adam Mullan they look to have found a prospect. The teenager certainly did not look out of place against the Blues on Saturday, much to Kearney’s delight.

“Adam had another fine game today,” Kearney told Times Sport after the game. “Aaron Canning has picked up an injury at work which will probably keep him out for the rest of the season, but even at that Adam was one who was on the radar and we wanted to get him in and have a look at him.

“After doing well at Glenavon the big question was do we throw him into today’s game? But if he’s going to be a Coleraine player then he’s going to have to play against Linfield.

“And to be fair to him he has shown up well again today and certainly didn’t look out of place.

“It’s a big game for a young player to come into particularly with the atmosphere in the second half with the Linfield fans behind him, but he dealt with it and it will stand him in good stead.

“It’s the acid test when you throw them in for a big game at 3pm on a Saturday. He’s raw but he has shown enough to prove to me he can offer us something in the future.

“Johnny Law speaks very high of him and they have put a lot of work into him. He is the one at the moment who is on the radar and who has a chance. He can also play anywhere which is another great strength. We’ll not get caried away though and we won’t let him either.

“I would expect my budget will be cut again for next season. I’ve been well aware since the day and hour I’ve came here that for as much as the first team is so important we have to be at a point where we start producing our own. Thankfully for the first time since I’ve been here we now have a few who are starting to knock on the door.”

Kearney, like most people in the ground, couldn’t believe the game finished scoreless. Both side carved out several great opportunities on the day, but a mixture of poor finishing and some great goalkeeping made sure both sides had to make do with a point.

“I don’t know how that game finished up scoreless,” he said. “It was a great game and a great 0-0. There’s very few goalless draw which you could say were as exciting as that today. There was plenty of chances at both ends, I just can’t believe it finished scoreless.

“I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t come away with all three points, but I’m sure Linfield are probably saying the same thing. We created a number of good goal scoring opportunities, but so did they. It flowed from end to end, particularly in the second half.

“The first goal would have been vital today and when it didn’t come, even deep into injury time it was stil you have a go, we have a go. Gareth Tommons had a great chance one-on-one to put us in front and he should have done better.

“Eugene was in great form today. He had one save in particular deep into injury time from a Philip Lowry header. It looked in to me but he produced a superb reflex save to push it away.

“But that’s his job and that’s what he is there for. He has been a super signing for us. “