Coleraine manager Oran Kearney delighted for new boy Evan McLaughlin

As most were struggling with the blistering heat on Saturday, Coleraine’s Evan McLaughlin was enjoying his own red hot form to which he attributed his recent acclimatisation - ON SUNBEDS!

Coleraine Evan McLaughlin celebrates with Lee Lynch after scoring his first goal for the club. Picture by Brian Little/INPHO
Coleraine Evan McLaughlin celebrates with Lee Lynch after scoring his first goal for the club. Picture by Brian Little/INPHO

The talented midfielder netted a brace in the Bannsiders’ victory after which the Derry City loanee revealed he got use to the soaring temperatures via an unconventional method.

“It was roasting but I’m well used to that heat with the sunbeds anyway,” he laughed, “So yeah it was alright and I got used to it.”

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The 20-year-old, who joined Coleraine a few weeks ago on-loan from his home town club, has settled into life at Showgrounds nicely.

“I have settled in well. As I have said before, when I came through the door I just felt really welcomed and I settled in really fast,” he added, “Everybody around the club has been brilliant and I’m loving it here already.

“I’m hoping for more of the same next week as well. I’m just hoping for more every week, but I’m staying focused and let’s see what else I can bring.”

McLaughlin’s game time at the Brandywell this season was limited but it didn’t show on his debut as he was in thick of everything positive the Bannsiders produced against the Reds.

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He ghosted in behind Reds’ defender Levi Ives to tuck home their opening goal before scoring a second just before half-time after winning possession from Chris Gallagher just inside the Reds’ half and firing past Fynn Talley.

“The first goal I sort of guessed when the ball came in and lucky enough the left-back missed it and I got in. I just gambled really but thankfully it fell to me and I put it into the net,” explained McLaughlin.

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“My second goal I gambled as well because when we were pressing I was hoping they would make a mistake and thankfully they did. My first thought was to run towards the goal and score, which thankfully I did.”

Manager Oran Kearney was full of praise for McLaughlin after his ‘Man of the Match’ display against Cliftonville.

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“Evan is a great lad and is hungry for football, to get as many minutes as possible,” he said. “He’s been stunted a bit at Derry where he felt he wasn’t getting the game time he needed.

“We will take the shackles off him here, I love working with players like that, where he has a smile on his face, his shoulders are back and I said to him before the game he would’ve been sitting here wondering if he would get on two months whereas now you’re on so to take his frustration out on the pitch. To be fair to him, I hope that’s just the start of it.”

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The Coleraine manager has added more technically gifted players this season with the likes of McLaughlin, Conor McDermott, Dean Jarvis, Michael McCrudden and Lee Lynch all joining, something which the ex-St Mirren supremo admitted was always his plan.

“It’s been well documented we built a team on the old pitch to try to win games because that’s all that matters at this level,” stated Kearney, “But I was a big advocate trying to get the new pitch and now we have it, we are intent on building a team who can play on this pitch and that means a different type of player.

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“Anybody can see that over the last 18 months we’ve evolved. It’s never going to be something that’s going to happen in one (transfer) window, but it’s definitely something that was going to evolve over time so we are able to go toe-to-toe with the way this league has gone.

“For us I think we have evolved again and there’s a huge amount to come, but it’s encouraging.”

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