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Former Bannsiders boss recalls Euro exploits

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Former Coleraine player manager Jim Platt will be watching on from his Middlesbrough home on Thursday night as the Bannsiders take on NK Maribor in the Europa League.

The ex Northern Ireland international, who led the club into Europe three times back in the eighties, knows the size of the task facing Oran Kearney’s men.

“It will be a step up from last week’s level and the problem is you face better players so you do more running and towards the end of games the fitness tells,” explained Jim.

Now an Independent Councillor for the Kader ward in the Acklam area in the North East, Jim still fondly recalls his Euro experiences with Coleraine.

“We drew 1 1 at home to Locomotive Leipzig. Some people reckoned we had a chance but we were 4 0 down at half time before eventually losing 5 – 0!

“We were back in East Germany against after another 1 – 1 home draw with Brandenburg.
“I let in a soft goal over there and we lost 1 – 0 but we should have taken something from the game.”

The final adventure was against a top class Dundee United in 1987, the night the Ballycastle Road floodlights were officially unveiled.

“Paul Sturrock scored the only goal at the Showgrounds.

“Over there we were one down at half time, then Dessie Edgar equalised.

“We had a spell forcing the game. Another goal would have put us through but in the end we lost 3 – 1.”

Now 68, Jim, a match day ambassador for Middlesbrough, always keeps an eye out for Coleraine’s results.

“The goal to win the game last week was tremendous.

“It will be a big step up in class but I wish the guys well.

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About author
Coleraine man, married to Tracy. Former Chronicle Sports Editor and writer for the old Saturday Night sports paper and Belfast Telegraph/Sunday Life. Has travelled and reported on Coleraine FC on several of their European ties over the years.
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