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Skipper Stephen pulls no punches

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Coleraine captain Stephen O’Donnell is pulling no punches ahead of Thursday’s Europa League qualifying tie with LA Fiorita.

The former Institute player is well aware of what is riding on the outcome.

A trip to Maribor in the next round – and the riches that would bring – are very much in his thoughts.

“The money involved in European football is huge now,” admitted the central defender, who this week signed a new two-year contract with the club.

“Anyone who says they aren’t aware of that before this game is being naive.

“Everyone at this club knows what the benefits of a win could do financially.

“Perhaps it adds to the pressure but we put pressure on ourselves anyway to win the big games and this is no different.”

O’Donnell, loving life with Coleraine since his switch from Institute three years ago, is confident his teammates will rise to the challenge tomorrow night.

“Training has been going well, particularly over the last ten days.

“I’d say the manager is happy with where we are at fitness-wise.

“We are as fit as we can be and everyone is fully motivated to get us over the line.”

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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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