COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney admits he is looking forward to getting this year’s Danske Bank Premiership campaign underway…
The Bannsiders were in action twice yesterday afternoon as goals from James McLaughlin (4), Ian Parkhill and Jamie Glackin helped seal a 6-0 win over Glebe Rangers, with a split squad also in action against Coagh United as strikes from Eoin Bradley (3) and Aaron Burns saw the Stripes claim a 4-2 victory.
It marked the end of Coleraine’s pre-season schedule as they now look ahead to the 2019-20 campaign which starts next weekend against Cliftonville.
“It was a nice way to end pre-season by getting the two wins,” Kearney said.
“To be honest, I never read too much into games and results as it is about getting enough minutes into the players and making sure they are fit and raring to go.
“It is great to get pre-season over as I’m itching to get started next weekend.”
The Stripes found Cliftonville a tough nut to crack last season as they were defeated by the Reds on three occasions.
Kearney knows that his players will come up against ‘a dangerous side’ who are full of confidence after their European exploits.
“It will be a tough game,” Kearney said.
“Cliftonville have made good progress under Paddy McLaughlin and will have a spring in their step after getting through a round in Europe.
“They are a dangerous side with a lot of firepower in Joe Gormley and Rory Donnelly.”
Kearney will be boosted by a fully fit squad – bar Aaron Traynor – against the North Belfast side, with the manager also admitting he is close to completing his first signing of the summer transfer window.
“Chris Johns will be back in full training and I hope Josh Carson will be ready to return,” he concluded.
“Unfortunately, we won’t have Jamie McGonigle at our disposal as he is ruled out through suspension, but we will hopefully be full strength.
“We will hopefully get a deal over the line early this week for a new arrival.”