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I'm here to fire Coleraine to title joy, says Curtis Allen


Familiar face: Curtis Allen during his first spell at Coleraine

Familiar face: Curtis Allen during his first spell at Coleraine

�INPHO/Presseye/Darren Kidd

Familiar face: Curtis Allen during his first spell at Coleraine

Curtis Allen played most of his football at Glentoran during difficult times at The Oval. There were financial problems, issues with players being paid, concerns over where to train, embarrassing results and a host of managerial changes.

For the majority of his six years at the club, he experienced too many dark days. It is to his credit that he was often the shining light for the fans, scoring 110 goals and becoming a huge hero in east Belfast.

Not bad for a player whose arrival was greeted with suspicion by some Glentoran supporters because he had previously turned out for fierce rivals Linfield.

He dispelled the doubts on his Glentoran debut with a double away to Portadown in a 3-1 Irish Cup victory in January 2014. The following year, Allen was in the team that beat the Ports in the final of the same competition - his only winners medal with the club.

With major investment, Glentoran now look like a team sure to lift much more silverware in the coming years. Allen won't be around to see it after making a dramatic late night transfer deadline day switch to Coleraine for a second spell with the north west outfit.

I will always have fond memories of my six years at Glentoran, even though there were some tough times.

Initially the 31-year-old, fit again after injury kept him out for most of the season, has moved to the Bannsiders on a loan deal until the end of the season. Then he will sign a two-year contract with Coleraine.

By then he hopes to have helped Oran Kearney's side to some trophy success. Due to being on loan from Glentoran, Allen cannot feature when Coleraine travel to The Oval for Saturday's mouthwatering league fixture.

That could set up a debut in next weekend's BetMcLean League Cup final versus Crusaders at Windsor Park.

"Oran highlighted that possibility to me. With everything happening so quickly on deadline day, I never really thought about it," said Allen.

"It is an added bonus. I can't play on Saturday against Glentoran but, because I'm not cup-tied, I can play in the League Cup final next weekend.

"It gives me a week or two to train with the lads and get used to things at Coleraine again.

"Obviously I am still coming back from injury and am not match fit, but if I could contribute in the Cup final at any stage, even coming off the bench, it would be fantastic for me.

"If I could come on and score the winner or set up the winner that would be a dream debut."

Allen will be a spectator at The Oval for Saturday's crucial league meeting. If Coleraine win, they will move ahead of current leaders Glentoran on goal difference in an incredibly tight title race.

"I will always have fond memories of my six years at Glentoran, even though there were some tough times. I had a good relationship with the supporters and cherish that," said Allen.

"I also have many good friends at Glentoran and wish them all the best, but I am a Coleraine player now and we are vying for the same trophies.

"My focus is purely on Coleraine and contributing as much as I can on the pitch and trying to bring some silverware to the club this season.

"On Saturday I will be at The Oval watching what is a massive game in the title race, and I will be hoping Coleraine take all three points because they are my team now.

"I want to have a big say in this title race. Coleraine are right up there and in with a great chance and I want to play my part for them."

Earlier in the season there had been talk about Allen signing a new deal with the Glens, though that was before the arrival of a whole host of new striking talent. All the while there was interest from Ballymena United and Glenavon. Coleraine also came calling, but it looked as though Allen would stay at The Oval for the remainder of the season until Kearney swooped on deadline day.

"It was around 10.50pm that I signed the loan deal, so we were cutting it fine before the midnight deadline," explained ex-Bournemouth ace Allen.

"I was disappointed to leave Glentoran having spent so much time at the club but I think this is the right time to move on.

"I have always had a soft spot for Coleraine and a good relationship with Oran and I can't wait to work with him. I have gone from a club I loved to another club I love and I am relishing the challenge."

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