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Lyndon Kane reveals how 'football father' Oran Kearney looks out for Coleraine players

 

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Coleraine's Lyndon Kane has had plenty of praise for boss Oran Kearney.

Coleraine's Lyndon Kane has had plenty of praise for boss Oran Kearney.

Coleraine's Lyndon Kane has had plenty of praise for boss Oran Kearney.

Coleraine hero Lyndon Kane has hailed the impact of "football father" and manager Oran Kearney on the treble-chasing Bannsiders.

Kearney's side moved into second place in the league title race at the weekend thanks to a crucial 1-0 victory at Glentoran, are in the quarter-finals of the Irish Cup, and on Saturday face Crusaders at Windsor Park in the Bet McLean League Cup decider.

Just like Kearney, the buzz is back at Coleraine.

Before the former Linfield midfielder left for St Mirren at the start of last season, the Bannsiders enjoyed Irish Cup success in 2018 and were involved in a thrilling battle for the Irish Premiership before the Crues claimed the glory on the final day.

When he left for Scotland, Kearney was replaced by Rodney McAree. It looked like a good fit but didn't work out.

Kearney returned to the Showgrounds in the summer having kept St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership and Coleraine are a force to be reckoned with again.

A huge favourite with the Bannsiders, full-back Kane says Kearney's man management has been key to their form this term.

"I can't speak highly enough about Oran. He is unbelievable for me. When I was a 17-year-old boy he believed in me and put me into the first team," said lifelong Coleraine fan Kane.

"At that time it was probably a risk for Oran but he threw myself and other young players in. He believed in us and the whole way through my career has backed me to the hilt.

"He is like our football father. He does so much above and beyond. There are times when he sees at training you are not yourself and he will text you and ask you to go for a coffee and a chat and after it you feel a lot better. He has that way with him.

"He is a great man manager and knows how to handle different types of players and how to bring them forward.

"When he went away to Scotland he showed how good he is with the job he did at St Mirren.

"On a personal level I wanted him to be a big success in Scotland, though when I heard he was coming back to our club I was delighted because I knew he would kick us on."

Having Kane fit and firing again has also been vital for Coleraine. He has suffered three leg breaks, needed three surgeries and is now playing superbly like fellow full-back Aaron Traynor, who has had his own injury woes.

"We have both come through tough times. Last season, Aaron did his ACL and I broke my foot and we did rehab together," said Kane, who will turn 23 on the day of the final with Crusaders.

"On a Tuesday and a Thursday we both had testing nights but we kicked each other on and worked really hard. We helped each other physically and mentally. There may have been times when I was going to training feeling a bit down in the dumps but Aaron would have come in with a good mentality and on other occasions he would have bounced off me.

"We are two natural full-backs and I think that helps the team. We are similar in the way we play. We have the trackers during games and if you looked at our distances nearly blade for blade we cover the same distances. We both like to get forward and defend as well. You can see that with the clean sheets we have been keeping recently along with the rest of the defenders.

"It would be fantastic for the club and our fans if we could keep another one and win the final at Windsor Park."

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