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Glentoran don't feel like underdogs against Motherwell in Europa League, says Coleing

 

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Bring it on: Dayle Coleing is relishing Well tie

Bring it on: Dayle Coleing is relishing Well tie

Bring it on: Dayle Coleing is relishing Well tie

New Glentoran goalkeeper Dayle Coleing insists his side do not see themselves as underdogs for tomorrow night's Europa League tie away to Motherwell.

In terrible weather conditions, the Gibraltar No.1, who arrived at The Oval earlier this month, made some fine saves and kept a clean sheet in last week's 1-0 victory over HB to set up the eagerly anticipated trip to Fir Park.

Stephen Robinson's side may have had a difficult start to their Scottish Premiership season but will still be favourites to progress against the Irish League outfit, though that's not the way 23-year-old Coleing sees it.

"There's less pressure when you go into a game as the underdogs but we don't see ourselves as underdogs in any way," stated Coleing. "We know we have a big chance of playing well and winning. We were all happy progressing against HB Torshavn and this is now a massive game for us (as players) and a big game for the club as well."

Coleing says his experience in international football will benefit him when taking on Motherwell.

"Going into games against Denmark and Switzerland, they were massive games so when it comes to these types of games my concentration and my preparation is quite good," he said.

"I've played against big teams and big names, so it helps with my preparation and nerves for big games like this."

There were suggestions from Gibraltar that Glentoran triggered a £50,000 clause in Coleing's contract with his club Europa to sign him, which would make him the Irish League's most expensive goalkeeper. Whatever the fee, he paid some of it back versus HB with one particular stop after the break highly impressive.

The victory, combined with the Glens qualifying for Europe in the first place, took the club's prize money to around £413,000.

"The conditions weren't great (last week) so I wasn't going to risk anything by trying to catch everything. When I made the save just after half-time, I tried to push it as far away as possible and get rid of the danger," said Coleing. "Overall I think it was a very solid defensive display and a great team effort."

Speaking about his move to The Oval, Coleing revealed that he talked to the Gibraltar FA's technical director Desi Curry, who previously held that role at the Irish FA.

"I spoke to Desi Curry a lot about the club and he explained everything to me. He told me it was a massive club, with a great history and the fan base is very good as well," said the goalkeeper. "I'm still trying to adapt in every way, being in a new city and being away from home, but my new team-mates have helped me settle in and I'm really happy with the way everything has gone so far.

"There were ongoing negotiations for a few months. I played a few international games and a few Europa League games last year and someone from Glentoran contacted someone who let me know. We basically got in touch and they showed their interest and it just went from there."

Coleing is well aware he is in the presence of Glentoran greatness in Elliott Morris, who was between the sticks for the east Belfast side in their Irish Cup triumph last month. Veteran Morris is still available to play this season but is also coaching Coleing and youngster Rory Brown, who has arrived from Institute.

"I know I'm taking over from a legend in Elliott Morris. I'm trying to learn as much as possible from him," said the Gibraltar star. "They are big shoes to fill, and I hope I can do that."

• The County Antrim Shield is set to kick off the new domestic senior football season, with the first two rounds to be staged prior to the start of the Premiership campaign.

The league season is scheduled to start on October 17 but the County Antrim FA plan to stage rounds one and two of their competition on October 10 and 12.

Belfast Telegraph