Lyndon Kane has insisted he loves life at Coleraine and is determined to help them qualify for Europe again next season.
Widely considered the best right-back in the Premiership, Kane had a superb campaign last time out as the Bannsiders finished runners-up to Linfield. The 24-year-old’s consistency and quality is much admired by other clubs in the top flight but the defender is extremely happy where he is.
“Coleraine is my club,” he declares. “I’ve been in the first team for seven years and feel like I’ve been here a lifetime. Before then I was a fan.
“I love every minute of my time with Coleraine. I live two minutes from the Showgrounds and I work in Coleraine and I’m itching for the start of the new season. I can’t wait to go again with the club.”
Kane was suspended last Thursday night when the Bannsiders lost the home leg of their Europa Conference League tie to Bosnian outfit Velez Mostar, going out 4-2 on aggregate. Moments after the final whistle, he was targeting a return to continental competition.
“As a spectator, I’m more nervous than when I’m playing,” he reveals. “I thought in the first half we scored at a good time through Matthew Shevlin and weathered the storm before half-time with Gareth Deane making an unbelievable save.
“When we came out in the second half, Shevy had a great chance and was unfortunate. The sad thing is at this level if you don’t take chances, the quality of the opposition can punish you and that’s what happened in the end with them scoring twice.
“There are several full-time teams in the Irish League now but a realistic aim for us at Coleraine is to play in Europe every year. That’s what we work hard towards.
“Last season we went through nine or 10 months of hard graft to get there. We had seven points from our first nine games and then we went on a crazy run and that was all to get an opportunity to play in Europe. You want to challenge yourself against the best teams you can face and again we will be striving for European football next year.”
The game last Thursday was played at Glenavon’s Mourneview Park with work ongoing to install a new synthetic pitch at The Showgrounds and Kane adds: “The way the League is moving forward, it is something we needed. You can see with the way we play when we go away to the likes of Larne, Cliftonville and Crusaders, we can play good football on that type of surface.
“We will aim to do that at Coleraine and keep the Showgrounds as a fortress.”