DESPITE the season ending less than a month ago, colerainefc.com looks back on the 2022/23 campaign starting with the month of July…
With no European football, Coleraine would return to training in June as new signings and pre-season friendlies were finalised ahead of the new season.
The Bannsiders were quick to announce the arrivals of Dean Jarvis and Lee Lynch from Larne, as well as Glenavon winger Jack O’Mahony. Those incomings meant departures as Eoin Bradley, Curtis Allen, Evan Tweed and Ian Parkhill were released, with Patrick Kelly making a move to Premier League side West Ham United.
The Stripes’ first two friendlies would see them score a combined 14 goals as Maiden City (9-2) and Limavady United (5-0) were put to the sword as several trialists impressed. The following week Ballyclare Comrades would be the visitors to The Showgrounds as Coleraine won 4-0 via goals from Lynch, James McLaughlin, Caiolan Brennan and Aaron Jarvis.
Just after Coleraine would lose their first pre-season game at home to Institute, they responded in fine style as they netted five goals without reply against Ballinamallard United. A first-half hat-trick from Matthew Shevlin would set the Stripes well on their way, with Aaron Jarvis and Josh Carson also finding the back of the net. Due to his performances on trial, Coleraine completed the signing of Dean Brown from Limavady United.
Another arrival would see the loan addition of Evan McLaughlin from Derry City and he would be thrown into the heart of the action as Coleraine lost at home to Huddersfield Town XI. An equaliser by James McLaughlin set up an exciting grandstand finish and it would be the English side who would run out 2-1 victors as Myles Bright found the bottom corner with an instinctive finish.
The month of July would finish with Coleraine winning two friendlies by a 4-1 scoreline as defenders Conor McDermott and Kieran Farren put pen-to-paper on two-year deals. The first victory was against Portstewart in the annual Wes Gregg Memorial match, before Oran Kearney’s men would find their ruthless strike by defeating Annagh United on the Ballycastle Road the following day.