Belfast Telegraph

Irish Cup Final: Douglas helping me become a better player, reveals Kane

By Steven Beacom

Young Coleraine ace Lyndon Kane has hailed the influence of experienced defender Steven Douglas ahead of tomorrow's Irish Cup final against Linfield.

Douglas will come up against his old club at Windsor Park four years on from leaving the Blues to join the Bannsiders when he was 35. He is still going strong and was a key figure in Coleraine's impressive third-place finish in the league.

Kane, 20, says he has learned much from Douglas in Oran Kearney's back four.

"To play alongside Steven Douglas is fantastic. I have learned so much from him," said Kane.

"He may not say a lot but the way he plays you can't help but learn the game.

"When he does something in defence, I would follow him because he has been there and worn the t-shirt.

"If it's good enough for Dougie it's good enough for me. He is a really influential player in our defence."

Kane adds that manager Kearney and coach William Murphy, also ex-Linfield stars, have been inspirational for the side this season.

"The manager Oran Kearney has been great and has shown he is not afraid to put young players in if he thinks they are good enough," stated Kane, who has enjoyed a fine campaign.

"William Murphy was at the top level for many years and it is great to have him at Coleraine because I know a lot of other clubs would like to have him.

"He is fun off the pitch and gets on well with everyone but he knows when things have to get serious and has fantastic knowledge of the game."

With champions Linfield chasing a treble, they are big favourites but Kane is reading nothing into that.

"Form will go out of the window on the day. It will be all on who delivers once the first whistle blows," said Kane, whose aunt Gillian is getting married on Cup final day.

Lyndon's mum Shauna, dad Mark, who is Gillian's brother, and sister Carrie Lyn will attend the noon wedding in Coleraine before travelling to Belfast for the 2.30pm kick-off.

Kane added: "I have supported Coleraine since I was born and it has been a dream to get to the final.

"Now we want to win it. Playing Linfield brings that extra edge because there will be a really big crowd there with our fans and their fans.

"The atmosphere will be amazing and all that adds to the occasion.

"It has been 14 years since Coleraine won the Cup so everyone knows how much it would mean to lift it on Saturday, for the club, our supporters and the town."

• Keith Kennedy will referee tomorrow's Cup final after Raymond Hetherington suffered an illness.

Tim Marshall has been appointed as fourth official.

Belfast Telegraph


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