ANDREW Gillan is next to be asked a list of questions in our ‘Meet the Supporter’ series…
1. How long have you supported Coleraine?
17 years. I did look out for the results beforehand, but went to my first match in 2000 and never looked back! I was a regular for the next 13 years or so, including plenty spent working on the website, but since I moved to Spain in 2013, it’s just been games in the summer and at Christmas for me, which I suppose makes them even more special.
2. What’s your first memory?
My first game! It was against Linfield in the early stages of the 2000/01 season. It wasn’t the greatest game ever, but I remember the winning goal, scored by Ryan McLaughlin in front of the Railway End.
3. Any funny stories from your time as a supporter?
There have been plenty, lots of ‘interesting’ trips on supporters’ buses back in the day, funny shouts from the crowd and awkward post-match interviews.
4. Your favourite current/past player?
In terms of past players, I can narrow it down to three. Gareth McAuley, who was clearly a class above when he played for us, Pat McAllister, who was the heartbeat of the team when I first started going to games and of course, Stephen Carson, one of the best players in the league and he stuck with us through a period when we were going through tough times on and off the pitch. It’s just a shame he couldn’t have won a major trophy with us.
In the current squad, Brad Lyons is quality. He’s got everything to be a top performer in the Irish League for years to come.
5. Your favourite away trip?
This is one I feel I’ve missed out on compared to other people as all the great trips in the Setanta Cup in recent years and the Europa League in the summer came while I’ve been out of the country.
In the Irish League, I’ve always liked going to Dungannon, nice and close to the action and the burgers are great. It probably doesn’t really count, but I love the annual friendly at Portstewart too, well, specifically going for ice cream on The Prom beforehand!
6. Your favourite goal?
Any time Stephen Carson cut inside off the left wing and curled a shot into the top corner! More specifically, Gareth McAuley running the length of the Showgrounds pitch to score a late clincher against Portadown after they’d committed pretty much everyone forward for a corner. And yeah, Johnny Black in the last minute at Solitude. That was special.
7. Any favourite matches?
The 6-0 win at The Oval, the Sky game against Linfield with Stevie Lowry’s late winner, coming back from 3-0 down to beat Portadown at Shamrock Park, numerous derby day hammerings that we’ve handed out. But above all, when we beat Linfield 1-0 at Windsor in 2009. We hadn’t beaten them there for years, but Gareth Tommons scored after Alan Mannus palmed the ball straight out to him and then Davy O’Hare saved an injury-time penalty. And on top of all that, it was my 23rd birthday!
8. If you could sign any player from another Irish League club, who would it be?
Tough one as we seem to be doing pretty well with the players we have at the minute, but I’d love to see Stevie Lowry back. He ran the show against us in the cup final last season.