Oran Kearney has Coleraine buzzing again
It is fair to say that there is certainly a buzz about Coleraine again this season.
Home and away wins over Crusaders and Linfield have certainly helped fuel that air of anticipation around the Ballycastle Road.
The Crues and Blues were many pundits’ pick to be slogging it out for the Danske Bank Premiership this term.
But Coleraine have deservedly won their four meetings with the last two clubs to lift the Gibson Cup.
Boss Oran Kearney is loving the ride being at the summit again.
“I wouldn’t call it heightened expectation," he said.
“I’ve always had an expectation myself and you try and transmit that into the changing room.
“I wouldn’t call what we have at the minute an expectation – I would call it a buzz.
“I think what we’re trying to do is get a buzz back to this place, get a buzz back to the north coast and get a buzz back to the town.
“With more inquisitive people coming out today to watch the game it’s good.
“I was craving a goal in the second half to be honest.
“Because when you stand where I stand and you look down there and see it absolutely chock-a-block you just crave that moment that people will remember.
“There was a lot of kids here today and you just crave that goal going in and the buzz that goes with it so that hopefully a lot of those people will come back again.
“For me, I have a huge expectation and the players have a huge expectation on themselves as well, but I think it’s creating that buzz again and getting this place jumping again like it has in the past.”
Aaron Canning may have claimed Saturday’s winning goal, but on closer inspection the unfortunate Mark Stafford put through his own goal.
But Kearney was full of praise for his central defender after the game, who is playing some of the best football of his life alongside Adam Mullan at the heart of the Coleraine defence.
“I remember when he was first here about 19 or 20 years of age, I argued with his father at stages as well, I said there would come a point when he’d be a centre-half, that it would be the best position for him,” said the Bannsiders boss.
“I flirted with it the last time I was here, I played him in there at times, four or five years ago, and he’s now coming to the fore.
“I think it’s the right point in his career to step in there.
“It’s possibly the same with Adam Mullan.
“Adam’s father Damian played at Limavady for years and won countless B Division and everything else.
“He was a real stalwart and captain and a great footballer.
“For me, Adam has played full-back his whole career, he’s just turned 24.
“He’s now possibly coming to that stage as well, and again I’ve always said it to Adam and his father, that he’ll end up a centre-half and that’s a position for him.
“So, I’m delighted for the two of them.
“They’ve struck up a really good partnership and are two really good readers of the game.”