Dean Shiels delighted to be back at The Showgrounds

Coleraine manager Rodney McAree welcomes Dean Shiels to the club.
Coleraine manager Rodney McAree welcomes Dean Shiels to the club.

Dean Shiels’ career has gone full circle after he put pen-to-paper on an 18-month deal with Coleraine.

The Showgrounds was like a second home for a young ‘Dixie’ during his father Kenny’s tenure with the Bannsiders.

He loved nothing more than getting on to the pitch before and after games, firing shots into the Railway End goal.

“Those were great days. I remember getting thrown off the pitch all the time,” said Shiels.

“As I got older I got to warm up Davy O’Hare.

“I’ve still got really strong memories of those days, hopefully I can create some memories now as a player.

“I’ve grown up following the club with my Granda being a big Coleraine fan, then obviously my dad and my uncle Sam.

“I always wanted to play for Coleraine when I was young, it’s all I ever wanted to do. I’m delighted I can make that happen now.”

Shiels is hoping to be involved in this Saturday’s Irish Cup tie against Dergview, subject to international clearance, and feels there is so much still to play for this season.

“There’s a lot to play for and you can see in the league if you go on a run you can rise up the table,” he said.

“It’s just about getting momentum and getting a few wins, that comes from hard work on the training ground.

“I’ve been trying to keep myself fit for a while now but nothing beats games so hopefully I can get some minutes on Saturday.”

The Bannsiders know they will have to be at their best to avoid an upset at home to Degview on Saturday.

After a long winless run at the start of the season Ivan Sproule’s side have now lost only two of their last eight fixtures.

“We all realise the situation the club is in and it is up to all of us to put that right, so a lot of hard work has been put in across the board to turn it around,” said Sproule, who has also had a busy month in the tarnsfer market.

“Paul Smith leaving for Institute was a blow for the club but we have managed to reinforce.

“We managed to bring in Emmett McGuckin from Magherafelt Sky Blues and I’m back playing too, so now we have one more forward than we did before the window opened.

“When I was manager of Ardstraw it was Magherafelt who beat us to the league title and Emmett was the difference that year.

“I was offered strikers from a much higher level but I trust in Emmett he has a lot of strength and he gives us a lot.”