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Big G: ‘I love the club’

COLERAINE defender Gareth McConaghie insists he hopes to make up for lost time after an injury curtailed his season…

The 33-year-old has agreed a new one-year deal that will see him remain at The Showgrounds next season.

The Dervock man had been in fine form throughout the 2020-21 campaign before a knee injury ruled him out of action.

“Signing a new deal is great and there wasn’t much to think about when I was offered the extension,” he said.

“I love the club and I want to stay here for as long as possible.

“I have been unlucky with injuries the last two years and when I have a picked one up, they have been difficult to shake.

“Hopefully we are coming out the right side of it now and I’m looking forward to pre-season.”

The Bannsiders have been busy adding to their squad since the transfer window opened and McConaghie believes the signings of Cathair Friel and Rodney Brown will help strengthen the ranks.

“I want to get back to enjoying my football again,” he continued.

“I think Rodney is a great signing and there was already great competition for places before he arrived.

“It makes everyone else better, we have to prove ourselves, show what we can do and train that little bit harder.

“I think Cathair Friel is also a great signing so we have plenty of options throughout the squad.”

Coleraine will find out their European opponents next Tuesday and McConaghie was full of praise for everyone involved with the club for ensuring qualification after an inconsistent start to the season.

“I think last season was good and us as a squad and management know the dip of form we had at the start of the campaign could have cost us,” he concluded.

“That happens to every team and despite trying our best, it was just a bad period for us.

“We came out of it on the other side and it showed the team effort we have to get back to where we should be, so it’s a credit to the management staff and players for that.

“I’m looking forward to Europe, it’s always great and we had a memorable experience last year.

“We can only build on that this year and it’s about enjoying it as well as improving by competing against some great players.”