Allen in ‘a much better place’

COLERAINE striker Curtis Allen can’t wait for next Thursday’s clash with FK Velez Mostar…

The striker started against La Fiorita in last season’s memorable European run.

But he reckons he’s a totally different proposition twelve months on, as Coleraine make their Europa Conference League debut in Sarajevo.

Allen scored during Tuesday’s 2-1 friendly win against Larne and his confidence is sky high.

“Where my fitness is now compared to the start of last season is 20 times better,” revealed Curtis.

“Mentally and physically I’m in a much better place and I’ve lost some weight.

“I finished the season scoring a few goals and scored against Larne and I’m feeling great.”

Competition for a starting slot against Velez will be intense but the experienced marksman is hoping he gets the nod.

“I’d love to get the chance. It would be great to start the season well, score a couple of European goals and get us through.”

Unlike last year, matches will again revert back to a two leg format.

“The one off game obviously benefits the Irish League teams,” continued Curtis.

“It will take a collective effort and two big performances to get us through.

“But everyone is feeling fit and strong and Oran will have a game plan for us.

“We will have a few more training sessions as well before Thursday to sharpen us up.

“Although we don’t know too much about Velez, we do know they will be strong and a decent side.

“I’m not sure they will be at the same level as Maribor but it’s important we get a result before bringing them over here for the second leg.”