Curtis Allen looking forward to getting back to scoring goals again
Curtis Allen says he is eager to back scoring goals in a Coleraine shirt again after completing a deadline day move to his former club.
Allen joins the Bannsiders initially on loan from Glentoran until the end of the season, but has already signed a two-year deal which will kick in at the end of this current campaign.
It brings to an end his six-year spell at The Oval, during which he found the net a fantastic 110 times.
Speaking on his return to The Showgrounds on Saturday the 31-year -old said he was disappointed to leave the club, but said there was no ill-feeling.
"I think you're always disappointed to leave any club," said Allen.
"I'd obviously been there a long time, they were a great club to me and the fans were brilliant to me.
"But that's football. I had a chat with 'Windy' and Mick the other night and they sort of indicated about possibly going somewhere.
"I wasn't happy obviously as they had said I was in the plans but I understood that is football.
"There's no hard feelings, I've never left any club with ill feelings, it's not the type of character that I am.
"I went down and seen the lads on Saturday morning before they went off to play Queen's and I saw Windy and Mick and they wished me all the best.
"For me it's about looking after myself.
"Yes I had a fantastic time at Glentoran and I thank all the staff, the fans and the people who were there, but it's the right time to move on and it's a new challenge at Coleraine and I can't wait to get started.
"I'm delighted to be back. It's all been a bit of a whirlwind. I knew Coleraine had put a letter in about the possibility of coming here for next season.
"Then Oran contacted me on Friday night to see what I thought.
"Initially I said no, it had nothing to do with the club it was just that I feel that I'm not overly fit at the minute.
"I didn't want to come half measured. Oran said he understood as I have only played 15 minutes in the last five months.
"I have been training the last couple of weeks and I feel good, but the key thing is playing games and I need to build on that to make sure I don't break down again.
"Oran said he understood that and that the club would look after me.
"I'm not cup tied for any of the competitions and also there is a big run-in for the league and he said if I could come in and contribute and put the ball in the net I could have a big say in it for us.
"Everything he said to me was what I wanted to hear, he didn't need to sell the club to me at all.
"I know all about it, my dad and my brother came to all the matches and absolutely loved it.
"Even when I was with the Glens they loved the away days with Coleraine because of the whole fan base and the feel of the club.
"And it hasn't changed. I brought my wife up today and she says it just seems right.
"And it does, it does feel like the right time for me, and I'm eager to get going and scoring goals again."
Allen has always been held in high regard at Coleraine even after his initial two-year spell came to an end in 2013 when he left the club to join Inverness Caledonian Thistle with a record of a goal every two games.
But he admitted both he and the Bannsiders have progressed since he made the move back to full-time football.
"The club has really pushed on since I was last here," said Allen.
"When I was first here the club was one of the higher-middle teams.
"Coleraine are now one of the top teams. They are looked at as a title challenging team and rightly so given the squad that's here.
"When I was here we were trying to pick players from the Belfast clubs, but there were some really good players here, good young players.
"The club is on the way up now, you only have to look at the work that's going on, so much has changed from when I was here last.
"It's great the things that Colin McKendry and the rest of the board have brought to the club.
"As a player coming in that's what you want to see.
"I'm obviously a lot more experienced now. At that stage my ambitions were always to go back across the water and I got the move to Inverness.
"I came back and I had to adapt my game to playing up front on my own.
"I'm still a box goal scorer, but I adapted to be able to hold the ball up and run the channels.
"I maybe don't have as much pace as I had, but I've the same eye for goal, if anything I'm a better finisher than I was then because I've reflected more on my finishing.
"I'm probably a better all round player in terms of technical ability and game management and also the experience to talk to the younger players and bring them in.
"When I was at Linfield and Lisburn Distilley when I was younger the likes of Winkie Murphy and Darren Armour all put their arm around me and helped me.
"That is what I want to do to the young players I play with.
"It was great to see a couple of young lads get a run out for Coleraine today.
"If I can do anything on the pitch or training pitch to help them along it will be fantastic for everybody."
One thing that hasn't changed though is the man at the helm, and Allen says he has always maintained a very good relationship with Oran Kearney.
"Oran had a massive impact in bringing me here," he said.
"I've spoken with him regularly down the years, he has always been there to offer advice.
"It didn't matter when he was always there to talk. He's a fantastic guy.
"I sat in on his team talk before the Banbridge game and I could see the intensity and professionalism, and I could see how much he has improved.
"Everyone knows their jobs and the fine details, and as a player that's what you want to see.
"I can't wait to get started and it's a massive thanks to him for pushing to bring me back.
"All I can do is put the ball in the net to thank him for it."
Coleraine fans will have to wait a while longer to see Allen in a blue and white shirt again as he missed Saturday's Irish Cup win over Banbridge Town due to the deadline and is also going to miss the return to Glentoran this weekend due to the loan agreement.
So the League Cup final will be Allen's first game he will be available for and who would bet against him having a say in the outcome against Crusaders?
"I'm obviously available for the cup final, fingers crossed I can make some sort of impact in the final," he said.
"It would be a fantastic start to come off the bench and score the winner!
"I'll be dreaming about that for the next two weeks.
"It's exciting times, the treble is still on.
"As I player coming here there is a lot to be playing for.
"I'm really hoping to have a massive contribution to this team hopefully towards picking up some silverware. "