The fixture list has not been kind to Coleraine but Darren Boyce wouldn’t have it any other way.
Linfield, still fuming after Glentoran clinched the Gibson Cup last season, are poised to take out their frustration on opponents and the Bannsiders are first in the firing line at the Showgrounds.
The Windsor Park faithful will not tolerate a stuttering start to the season but Coleraine are also hungry to come flying out of the blocks.
Boyce, thrilled to be back at his hometown club after a frustrating spell at Glentoran, is hoping to pile fresh agony on David Jeffrey’s side.
“We are all looking forward to getting started, even though we have a tough opener against Linfield,” said Boyce.
“That’s just the way things go, perhaps it is a good time to play them. No matter what the Linfield line-up is, you can expect a tough game against quality players. The wee man Curtis Allen is injured and that’s a blow for the Blues but hopefully he will be back soon.
“Linfield teams are always tough to play against but a good result on Saturday will give us extra confidence and something to build on.”
Coleraine have been boosted by the news that Stephen Carson will not be leaving the north-west for Australian A-League side Newcastle United Jets FC.
The Northern Ireland international will now be expected to provide the ammunition for new striker Rory Patterson to shoot down rivals.
The Bannsiders are craving a goal machine and Boyce believes the former FC United striker could be that man.
“Rory is looking sharp in front of goal and if he gets half a chance he will put it away,” he said. “His goalscoring record at FC United was fantastic and the fans will see a very good striker. The club has missed an out and out goalscorer over the years but hopefully Rory is the answer.”
Boyce added: “The manager (David Platt) has already said he wants a trophy and then finish as high as we can in the league.
“I think Davy (Platt) did very well last season. It was his first year in management and as he’s a local boy there was a lot of pressure on him at Coleraine.
“He brought me through as a young player at Coleraine and I always knew he would be manager some day. I’m just glad to get the chance to play under him.”