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O'Hare set to 'keep' on going for Bannsiders

CIS Insurance Cup

By Graham Luney

Coleraine's interest in this season's CIS Insurance Cup is officially over however that doesn't mean that no significance is attached to today's battle at home to Newry City.

The Bannsiders' hopes of leaping from Group D into the knockout stages have been crushed but for one Showgrounds stalwart his next appearance will live long in the memory.

Coleraine shot-stopper Davy O'Hare - if he dons the number one jersey today - will clock up his 400th appearance for the club.

On countless occasions he has clutched his men from the jaws of defeat and it is a shame that this personal milestone hasn't arrived at a time when his heroics can make a difference once again. It's been a roller-coaster ride but the 35-year-old has no intention of hanging up his gloves just yet.

"You must be joking," he laughed. " Do you think I am going to go shopping on a Saturday afternoon? What a nightmare that would be. I think Jody Tolan did that and he missed the game so much he had to come back.

"I'm still enjoying the game or I wouldn't be doing it. Goalkeepers and particularly part-time players in this part of the world aren't subjected to the same pressures or risk of injury than the top, top players are."

Personal awards and milestones are satisfying but it's the will to win which motivates footballers and their greatest satisfaction is always that winning feeling.

O'Hare, a Coleraine favourite who was thrilled to return to the north west after a spell at Newry Town, remains one of the best shot-stoppers in the country.

Since making his debut for Coleraine as a fresh faced 19-year-old at Portadown he has haunted many of the game's prolific hitmen.

"It's nice to hit 400 but I'm not a player who thinks about numbers and I'm sure other players are the same," he added.

"I made my debut back in the 1800s some time - no it was 1991 I think. I was young and fearless then but I can remember we lost the game! I was very happy to be given another chance at Coleraine by Marty Quinn and the club and the fans mean a lot to me.

"The club has been through a turbulent time and there were fears it would go the same way as Omagh Town but thankfully we are still going strong and it is a club which craves success."

His highs have included Intertoto Cup glory, the Irish Cup triumph in 2003 and First Division title success in 1995.

The lows included his departure from Coleraine in the mid-90s when Wes Lamont claimed the number one jersey and the 2004 Irish Cup Final defeat. O'Hare has just signed a two-year deal at Coleraine.

That's good news for him and bad news for strikers across the province.

Belfast Telegraph


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