Oran Kearney full of praise for Coleraine's very own 'Peter Pan'
“We call him Peter Pan at Coleraine now!” - that was Oran Kearney’s reaction when asked about Stephen Lowry following another impressive display by the midfielder.
At 34 some might have thought Lowry would be winding down his successful career, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
If anything he has become an even more integral figure for this Bannsiders side as they push for a big finish to the season.
Lowry has been a consistent performer in their engine room clocking off game after game, in this hectic schedule.
He capped another sublime performance on Saturday with the crucial second goal against Ballymena United and his manager said he deserves all the plaudits coming his way.
“If he’s not up there for Player of the Season and everything else I really don’t know,” said Kearney.
“On volume of games alone, and the ability to keep himself injury free, to be able to do that he’s been absolutely phenomenal. He literally just does get better with age.
“I know how tough a job it is to play in midfield, particularly with the way the league is going with the volume of training and full time teams and everything.
“To keep up with that is fantastic but the work off the pitch, which a lot of people don’t see to make sure he’s ready for each game is excellent.
“I remember back to earlier in the season when we were just getting into the three-game weeks.
“I think I rested him in the Saturday against Crusaders. Someone got injured and he came on after 30 minutes.
“We had started quite ropey and he turned it around and he scored the winner.
“He was at me after saying he didn’t need a rest. He put me in my place that day and I listened to him, and to be fair he hasn’t let me down.”
Kearney admitted he was pleased to see Lowry on the end of Eoin Bradley’s pass as they grabbed the second goal against the Sky Blues as he showed what he is all about.
“Although he doesn’t score that many he’s probably that type of head you want in that area because he had a few decisions to make,” he said.
“You could actually physically see him make them. There was a split second when he was about to pass it, and then he realised if he stayed on the ball it would open up the chance for a finish.
“It’s that calm during the carnage on days like this that is absolutely priceless.”
Kearney feels Lowry could make the step us to manager once he does eventually hang up his boots as he continually acts as his manager’s eyes on the pitch.
“I don’t know what Stevie’s plans are to move forward, but he has a great eye of the game, particularly when he’s in the game.
“You saw two or three times today we called him over to see what was happening, as sometimes from the outside looking in it’s a totally different feeling to playing in it.
“He always has a great feel for what we need at those times.
“And there has been times when you’ll back what he feels needs to change on the pitch.
“Possibly he’s a manager in the making, but I haven’t had those conversations with him.
“He’s a great lad, comes from great stock, and for me if he did want to go that way he could easily do it.”
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