Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine's appetite is whetted for more silverware success, warns Bradley

By Graham Luney

Eoin Bradley admits Coleraine will have a target on their back this campaign but he's backing the Bannsiders to pack an even bigger punch this season.

Title glory slipped from their fingertips, but their stunning form was rewarded with an unforgettable Irish Cup final triumph over Cliftonville.

That 3-1 win exorcised the ghost of the Cup final defeat to Linfield a year earlier and now Oran Kearney's men will be hungry to finally banish their title demons.

Despite pushing Crusaders all the way in a gruelling 38-game campaign, they couldn't pip them at the finishing line.

The Cup success must have whetted the players' appetite for more glory, while their courageous title assault should inject even more confidence and belief into the players.

Bradley is ready to get back on the roller-coaster knowing his goals and creative attacking play will be crucial in any success story.

"It will be tough but we've brought in Stephen Lowry and Graham Crown and everybody is a year older and wiser," said 'Skinner'.

"Winning the Irish Cup final was special, and it's all about building on that and keeping the momentum going.

"The final celebrations probably went a bit too far but you've got to enjoy these moments. Some boys are still celebrating but you shake off that in pre-season and know what has to be done.

"You want more moments like that, but the boys are well aware the picture will be very different should we lose the first few matches. Football can change quickly like that.

"Last season a few drawn games cost us the title, but we didn't lose many and can take encouragement from that."

Bradley has been impressed with the business clubs have been doing this summer, and the new arrivals - particularly at Linfield and Ballymena United - have shaped a new Irish League landscape that fans can't wait to catch a glimpse of.

"A good start is important and our game by game approach last year really paid off for us, we have to take the same approach," added Bradley.

"We won't get ahead of ourselves. Linfield, Glenavon, Crusaders and Cliftonville have all strengthened.

"Ballymena United have made a lot of signings and every team is a real threat. I think we've got to work even harder than last season and then hopefully we can win more trophies."

Belfast Telegraph

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