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Interview

Skipper: ‘It’s a brilliant time to be a Bannsider’

CAPTAIN Stephen O’Donnell has written a message of thanks to the Coleraine support ahead of the New Year…

Bannsiders,

2019 has been as up and down a year as anyone could have imagined. We’ve been down and out, written off as a group and a club, on the wrong end of refereeing decisions, labelled as challengers and given a new lease of life, all within 12 months. Who would be a Bannsider, eh?

The first six months of the year were a frustrating time. With changes to the team and results not going our way. Frustrating is how I would sum up last season. Despite all that, it came down to a few poor refereeing decisions that cost us and probably summed up our season. It was a tough time for you as fans and for us as players. Despite that, you still turned out in your numbers and backed the club and the players throughout it all. That always stuck with us as a group of players and is one of the reasons Coleraine is such a brilliant place to play football.

The summer brought changes again. Labelled as a bottom six club and needing a massive overhaul. The club pulled one out of the bag and brought Oran back to the club. Since then we haven’t looked back. The group has bought into everything the gaffer wants and how he wants us to play. There were changes in the summer and the four new players have settled into the group well and hopefully will kick on and have good careers at the club.

I’m sure if in July, someone had have offered us three points off the top and a League Cup final at the turn of the year, we would have took their arm off. This is where we want to be competing and what we’re working towards. Throughout it all that atmosphere and support around the club has been rebuilding and growing again. As we all know, the positive momentum that can be generated when the players, the club, the fans and the town all come together is something special. We need that moving into 2020. Then we’ll really show everyone what we can do.

For us 2019 has been a year where we’ve needed support through good times and bad. You have been there through it all. For that, we as a group of players thank you and we know how lucky we are to be involved with this great club.

We have such a big year to look forward to in 2020. We are competing at the top end of the League, we have a League Cup final to look forward too. The exciting redevelopment of The Showgrounds and the new 4G pitch. It’s a brilliant time to be a Bannsider with so much to look forward to.

From the players and the staff, we wish you all a Happy New Year and hopefully together we can bring success to our club in 2020.

C’mon the Bannsiders!

Stephen O’Donnell

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