Causeway Chronicle

Players’ fight and passion rewarded with win over title-chasing Linfield

Coleraine earned a much needed three points in their quest to finish the season in the top six on Friday evening, sending fans home happy with the result and giving the new owners Ranald McGregor-Smith and Patrick Mitchell a fantastic welcome to the club.

The Friends of Coleraine rescued Coleraine and kept it going. As Coleraine look at full-time football, Ranald McGregor-Smith and Patrick Mitchell. are hoping to bring other investors to the table. “We will be looking for more investors. The money that’s been promised has been under-written but we understand there’s potentially other people who are interested in investing in Coleraine Football Club

Whilst the investment is welcome, the prospect of sustainable infrastructure is more welcome. Just throwing money to paper over the cracks is not the answer, knock the wall down and re-build it, that is the exciting prospect ahead for the fans, a club professionally and sustainably run bodes well for the future.

However, investment in the club’s youth set-up is equally important on the road to sustainability, and while full-time football seems to be the holy grail at the moment, the new owners should look at a more hybrid model.

The club cannot afford to lose good players who have good jobs, nor can it afford not to attract players already in full-time employment. A compromise solution could be reached. A football career is a short one and an even shorter one if someone is injured and has to retire from the game. A player who is looking towards his future, holding down a good job cannot be disenfranchised from being at a successful club.

Nor can money be wasted on simply buying players. Sustainability comes from developing a strong youth structure and maintaining a pathway of excellence to the first team.

Exciting times ahead for Coleraine Football Club. Now the ink on the deal has dried, it’s down to business ensuring Coleraine finish in the top six; a new system of management and a new Board to oversee that transition is urgently required.

Pic: Maurice Bradley, Causeway Chronicle
Pic: Maurice Bradley, Causeway Chronicle
Pic: Maurice Bradley, Causeway Chronicle
Pic: Maurice Bradley, Causeway Chronicle
Pic: Maurice Bradley, Causeway Chronicle
Pic: Maurice Bradley, Causeway Chronicle
Pic: Maurice Bradley, Causeway Chronicle
Pic: Maurice Bradley, Causeway Chronicle
Pic: Maurice Bradley, Causeway Chronicle
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Maurice Bradley