League Cup Final: Competition holds special memories for Lyndon Kane
The League Cup will always hold a special place in Lyndon Kane’s heart.
The full-back has had his fair share of injury heartache through his career.
In an 18-month period between June 2017 and December 2018 Kane suffered a broken metatarsal three times.
As devastating as that was for the Coleraine man, the biggest disappointment came as he was ruled out of the 2018 Irish Cup final after breaking his foot two weeks before the showpiece day.
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Kane was obviously delighted to see his hometown club secure their first silverware in 15 years - but it was tinged by sadness that he couldn’t have played his part on the pitch.
From hobbling around Windsor Park on crutches that day in 2018 Kane made amends some 21 months later as he finally helped his club win a major honour as they beat Crusaders 2-1 to win the BetMcLean League Cup.
“Winning the League Cup was massive for me as I had missed out playing in the Irish Cup final,” said the 25-year-old.
“For me, that day winning the League Cup was a sign of relief because I hadn’t played in a cup final that we had won.
“I didn’t have a medal from that Irish Cup final either.
“It was one of them ones where I was desperate to get my hands on a trophy...I was glad it came and, hopefully, we can do the same again this year.
“Obviously I still say I’ve won the Irish Cup but in my head I don’t have a medal.
“Effectively that was my first senior trophy and that day lifting the trophy with Stevie (O’Donnell), because we’d probably played the same amount of games that season, was extra special.
“The competiton definitely holds a special place for me.”
It may not be the season that the Bannsiders would have hoped for as they find themselves out of the running for the league - but they still have the chance to secure a third trophy in four seasons under Oran Kearney.
The previous two wins have led to big celebrations on the Ballycastle Road and Kane is hoping for more of the same this season.
“That’s what special about the club (the chance to win a third trophy in four years),” he said. “If you win a cup you treat it if as it’s gonna be your last.
“The party that goes on in the town for two or three days is something you wanna be a part of...you’re making memories you’ll never forget.
“It would be testament to Oran and the job he’s done and testament to the players.
“He looks after them second-to-none and, hopefully, we can repay that faith.
“Even Colin (McKendry, club chairman) and the Board, the work that they do for us behind the scenes that no-one sees...food, milk shakes, ice baths now going in, sauna, 3G pitch, state-of-the-art changing room...it really is fantastic.
“It would be brilliant to repay that faith.
“I’d be very friendly with Gareth Deane and played a part in trying to convince him to come – you want him to experience the big days and nights at Coleraine.
“He’s staying at my house after the game ‘cause he lives so far away - it’s one of those ones where you win the cup and stay at my house...we’ll probably party for a few days.
“That’s the memories you want when you look back on your career.”