Belfast Telegraph

Former mascot Shiels finally gets his chance with Coleraine

 

Dean Shiels
Dean Shiels

By Stuart McKinley

Dean Shiels is hungry to play a part in bringing more silverware to Coleraine after waiting over 20 years to make the switch from mascot to player.

The former Northern Ireland international bagged himself an early birthday present - he will turn 34 tomorrow - by signing an 18-month contract with the Bannsiders.

Dean (below) was a regular at the Showgrounds when his father Kenny managed the club during the 1990s and after playing in England, Scotland and Canada as well as the League of Ireland during the last 18 years he is happy to be home.

"I grew up going to Coleraine as a young boy. I was a ball boy, mascot and was always there at the matches," said Shiels, who left Derry City earlier this month after a short spell at the Brandywell.

"I always wanted to play for Coleraine and thought that one day it might happen. It's taken a while to come around. I have been away since I was 16 and wanted to come home. I am living in the town now and it's a perfect fit for me."

Shiels is awaiting international clearance before he can start to look forward to Saturday's Irish Cup clash against Dergview, who are managed by his old Hibernian team-mate Ivan Sproule.

"A lot of the same players who won the Irish Cup last season are still at the club. It's a good squad, one that can be successful and hopefully I can help them to more success," said Shiels.

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Crusaders striker Michael Carvill has joined Dungannon Swifts on a loan deal until the end of the season.

• NORTHERN Ireland were given a measure of what they are up against on the world futsal stage when their first World Cup qualifier ended in a 9-1 defeat to Finland.

The Finns were 3-0 up before Conor Millar scored Northern Ireland's first competitive goal with a fine left-foot half-volley on 13 minutes.

Northern Ireland will today face hosts Moldova, who beat Wales 8-4 in the opening game.

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