Causeway Chronicle

Stuart McLean back at the Showgrounds

Stuart McLean was back at the Showgrounds at the weekend.

The former Coleraine defender remains a firm favourite at the club.

Alongside Derek Cook, he was a guest of the club for a fixture with Linfield last season. 

That was his first time back in almost 27 years!

The wait wasn’t so long this time.

Stuart was at the Showgrounds on Sunday with his Caledonian Braves 2006 team.

Stuart coaches the Under 18’s team which is based in Hamilton.

Opting for a pre season mini tour, Stuart knew exactly where to come!

“I was treated so amazingly when I was last over that I thought let’s get the team over,” said Stuart.

Based at Jordanstown campus – Coleraine was booked up – the team travelled over on Friday.

They lost 6-1 to Linfield on Saturday before taking on Coleraine on Sunday afternoon.

“I said last time I was here I wouldn’t leave it nearly 30 years until I was back and here I am!

“I contacted Colin McKendry who then put me in touch with Ollie Mullan when we first thought there was a chance to come over.

“Once again the warmth and hospitality we’ve been shown has been unreal,” added Stuart.

“The guys have been blown away but I told them this is normal for Coleraine.

“Some of our guys have been through tough times but I’ve seen them with smiles on their faces here which makes it all worthwhile.

“We wouldn’t be at the same level as Linfield or Coleraine but it’s been about giving them a taste of the professional experience.”

And Stuart hopes to be back again in the near future.

“Without a doubt. I hope to be over for a game this season.

“It might not be feasible but I plan coming over for a match every season.

“My trip with Derek (Cook) reignited my love for the club and the area.

“I follow a lot of the Coleraine social media sites now.

“I’ll definitely be over as soon as possible to take in a game.”

Former Coleraine favourite Stuart McLean, manager of Caledonian Braves 2006

Ronnie Daly and Gary Taylor with Coleraine Under-20s this afternoon.

Did someone say camera? Great to see Billy Bacon back on duty at Sunday’s game, though the other three just appeared at the sight of a camera (joking).

The one and only “Guy” Coleraine FC stalwart Trevor Moffatt watching Coleraine Under-20s this afternoon.

North Wales to Coleraine! isitors enjoy game at Showgrounds.

Martin Gibson was in Coleraine this week paying a visit to daughter Ally and husband Nick and family when he took his granddaughters, Lily and Gracie Taylor-Gibson to the Showgrounds to watch Coleraine play Scottish team Caledonian Braves 2006 managed by former Showgrounds favourite Stuart McLean. Ally has been instrumental in the development of Coleraine FC Academy and is also involved with Coleraine FC Youths

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson