Cathair Friel raring to go as he completes Coleraine switch

Cathair Friel is looking forward to getting started with new club Coleraine after penning a three-year deal with the club.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 9:13 pm
Updated Friday, 4th June 2021, 9:16 pm

The 28-year-old had been linked with a return to The Showgrounds following his departure from Ballymena United in January.

And now it’s official Friel is looking forward to getting his second spell at the club started and making a real impact.

“When I came here the first time I was very young and I wanted to get more game time, and I think playing at Limavady for those four or five years helped me,” he said.

Cathair Friel has signed a three-year contract with Coleraine

“Obviously I went to Ballymena and did well but it was always Coleraine who were pushing for those European spots and challenging for the league.

“So to get into a team that’s doing that year in, year out I’m delighted with it.

“I’m glad the news is out there now and everything is now official.

“It’s just nice to get everything signed and I can’t wait to get started now.”

Goal scoring was an area boss Oran Kearney was looking to improve in his squad and Friel has welcomed the competition in the forward areas.

“In this league you need to be scoring goals and if you have four or five top strikers there all fighting for a starting place it’s going to give you the kick up the behind to perform,” he said.

“I don’t really set myself goal targets, but I’ve got a figure in my head.

“I’d like to push on and get double figures and from there I’ll just move on game by game.”

Kearney is delighted to be working with Friel for a third time and he feels the forward has the qualities to push his team on.

“Delighted to get him on board, he’s a player you wouldn’t have thought would be available,” he said.

“I had the joy of giving Cathair his debut for Limavady United against Coleraine as a fresh faced 16-year-old.

“Eighteen months later I got the Coleraine job and Cathair and a few others came along with me.

“To be fair to him he probably realised at that age it would take a bit of time to get an opportunity and he jumped straight to go back to Limavady knowing games at a good level was better than maybe sitting waiting for that opportunity.

“To his credit he goes back there and scores a lot of goals, gets his move to the Premiership and scores a lot of goals for Ballymena.

“He’s still on the fresh side of 30, he’s probably coming into his best years.

“There’s bound to be a hunger there from the last six months following the frustration of how things have panned out more than anything else.

“The big thing now is to get into pre-season as fit as possible to hit the ground running.

“Obviously a striker brings a bit more weight in terms of scoring goals from an expectation point of view.

“The top six all scored more than us last season as well as Glenavon and Ballymena.

“It is something we have to address, not just in striker terms but all over the pitch.

“Ideally though bringing in someone of Cathair’s pedigree, given that he’s hit 20+ goals in several seasons, it’s that type of player you want around you.

“We have created plenty of chances this season and we’re going well around the pitch and there’s opportunities there, so hopefully Cahair and the rest can take them.”

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