Irish Premiership: Clubs could benefit from staying part-time - Coleraine striker Allen

Curtis Allen celebrates scoring against Warrenpoint Town
Curtis Allen joined Coleraine from Glentoran in January 2020.

Coleraine forward Curtis Allen believes clubs could benefit from staying part-time as more Irish Premiership sides transition to a full-time model.

Linfield revealed plans on Monday to join Glentoran and Larne in a full-time set-up while Crusaders are a three-quarters professional club.

The other eight teams are part-time.

"Clubs could benefit from not going full-time because there are going to be players who have jobs and will not want to go full-time," said Allen.

"Look at Andy Waterworth, the players who are that wee bit older are not going to leave their jobs or careers, where they have worked hard to get to, to go into full-time football for one or two years.

"Teams like Coleraine or Cliftonville could maybe sweep up a few of those players which could work in our favour."

Oran Kearney's Coleraine side are second in the table behind champions Linfield but do not currently have any plans to delve into the full-time set-up.

Allen moved to the Showgrounds in January 2020 after leaving Glentoran and the full-time project under Mick McDermott.

He admits Coleraine "don't overly think about" the prospect of going up against a full-time outfit given their performances in the league.

"When you look at our performances against the full-time teams you'd have to say our performances have been better," said Allen, speaking to Nicola McCarthy on the NIFL Premiership Highlights programme.

"At this moment in time there is a lot of transition between the full-time teams.

"The next few years will be a big challenge for Coleraine as a club and as a squad to keep up, but the biggest thing for us is managing the amount of time we spend on the pitch.

"At the minute we only really do two nights a week while the full-time clubs are spending a lot more time on the pitch for tactical stuff or fitness and recovery."

Linfield have one hand on title

Despite sitting five points behind Linfield with a game in hand, former Blues forward Allen believes David Healy's side have "one hand on the title" as the run-in approaches.

"With the squad they have, the ruthlessness and the winning mentality - it's Linfield's to lose. I have been there and witnessed it, nothing less than winning is acceptable."

Coleraine famously beat Maribor before exiting to Motherwell on penalties in Europa League qualifying and Allen believes the Bannsiders are in a good position to play European football next season.

The 33-year-old has praised Kearney in helping his part-time side mount a challenge for the title despite the limited resources compared to their rivals.

"The biggest thing for us is that he shuffles the pack well and he has used the squad well," he added.

"We wouldn't have one of the biggest squads in the league but he has challenges everyone to come into the starting XI and contribute.

"In the run-in it will be massive for us if we can have everyone firing on all cylinders and contributing to the team.

"Our big goal for this season was European football and we are in a good position to achieve that."

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