Gawne to develop

COLERAINE attacker Alexander Gawne believes his loan move to Carrick Rangers will give him the ideal experience before returning to The Showgrounds…

The 21-year-old, who has spent the last two-and-a-half-years at the Amber Army, will return to the Loughshore Hotel Arena yet again for the 2022/23 campaign.

Before completing the loan switch to Stuart King’s side, Gawne signed forms on a new two-year deal to remain at the Ballycastle Road until the end of the 2023/24 season.

“I was coming out of contract this summer but I always wanted to stay at Coleraine,” he said.

“I’m from the town and support the club so it was an easy enough decision to pledge my future here but I realise I need to get as many games under my belt as possible.

“Coleraine have a really good set-up with the new pitch, the new signings and everything else, so things are only going up and I want to come back to Coleraine next year and fight for my place.

“I was asked to stay for pre-season and whilst I appreciated the offer, I feel I need to get as much experience as possible as this will stand me in good stead when I return to Coleraine.”

Gawne, who has made 41 appearances for Carrick during his time at the club, admits he has enjoyed playing under the watchful eye of Stuart King.

“I started off well during my first stint but my first full season there was stop-start with injuries and COVID-19,” he reflected.

“However, I really enjoyed last season and managed to make 26 appearances which was great for my development.

“This time around I’m trying to hit 30 games or more and continue to learn how to play in the top flight.

“I’ve been away the last two-and-a-half years at Carrick Rangers and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, so I’m pleased to head back there for the upcoming season.”