Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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It's a special time for our 'Kings of Coleraine', admits William Murphy

 

By Graham Luney

Coleraine assistant boss William Murphy isn't prepared to listen to title talk, but he admits something special is happening in the north west.

Oran Kearney's side have set the pace in the Danske Bank Premiership and are sitting pretty at the summit, three points clear of champions Linfield.

Linfield legend Murphy has been hugely impressed with the maturity displayed by the young players at the Showgrounds, who seem to have taken Irish Cup final heartbreak in their stride.

That May showpiece defeat to the Blues may have been a sour end to a campaign but it was still a season that featured a third-place finish and qualification for the Europa League.

Coleraine have come flying out of the blocks this campaign, and Murphy is cautious not to put any pressure on a group of players winning more admirers as the games are chalked off.

"It's great to have seven out of seven wins but no league titles are won in September," Murphy told the Belfast Telegraph yesterday in a Facebook Live chat.

"We've been taking one game at a time which is the mentality instilled in my time working with David Jeffrey at Linfield.

"If we are in this position come April time, six points clear with a few games to go, then we can talk about titles, but that's banned in our changing room.

"Last year was a great success in terms of finishing third and getting to the final of the Irish Cup. I think we had six players aged 21 or under starting the Cup final which is a great achievement for the club.

"You look at the provincial clubs and they have crept up on the teams in Belfast. The last time Coleraine won the league was 1974 and that was the year I was born!

"The belief that Oran has instilled in the young players is unbelievable. He has given players the opportunity, and we needed to do that as we can't spend money on a lot of players. Young players will get a chance and have come through the system.

"It is good that the boys are from the area. When I was a Newtownabbey lad playing for Linfield, the club I supported, it was a dream come true, and I can see where the boys are in representing their local club.

"Boys like Ian Parkhill, Brad Lyons and Lyndon Kane walk around Coleraine with their chest out, thinking they are the kings of Coleraine. We have a good blend of youth and experience and that's what you need."

Belfast Telegraph

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