Former mascot Shiels finally gets his chance with Coleraine
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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Northern Ireland will today face hosts Moldova, who beat Wales 8-4 in the opening game.