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Brad Lyons: Coleraine midfielder set to complete Blackburn move

Brad Lyons: Coleraine midfielder set to complete Blackburn move
Brad Lyons: Coleraine midfielder set to complete Blackburn move
Lyons was a regular in Coleraine's Irish Cup winning team last season

Coleraine midfielder Brad Lyons hopes to complete his move to Championship club Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old watched the Bannsiders beat Crusaders 3-0 to go top of the league at Seaview on Monday night.

"I'm just waiting on the Football League completing the paperwork and international clearance," said Lyons.

"It was always my dream to become a professional footballer and now it is coming true. On the other hand I'm sad to be leaving Coleraine."

"It's very hard to leave the boys in the changing room because we're all like brothers - there's a great connection among us and you can see on the pitch that we're fighting and playing for each other.

"It's just as hard to leave the fans. The reception I got at Seaview was emotional for me and my family but Coleraine will always stay in my heart and maybe I'll come back one day to play for them."

Lyons recently went on trial with Blackburn and is set to join the Ewood Park club on loan until January at which point he will sign an 18-month contract.

"You see the way Coleraine played tonight but I know I'm moving on to better things and into a full-time football environment.

"I'm going into my final year at university and I concentrate on my education massively but Blackburn are helping me with my education and that's very important - that's what got the deal over the line.

"I just have to get my head down and get used to full-time training because that's the big difference for all the players that go over.

"Martin Smith and Stephen Dooley, who were part of our squad last year, have also moved to England and that gives me the extra motivation and confidence that I can go over there and acquit myself well."

Lyons made his debut in 2014 and established himself as an integral part of the Coleraine midfield under manager Oran Kearney.

He made over 30 appearances last season as the Bannsiders' remarkable campaign brought them an Irish Cup and a second-place finish in the Premiership, having lost just one game all season.

He scored twice in two league appearances for the Ballycastle Road outfit this season.

"The progress Brad has made in his four years or so at the club has been exceptional," observed Kearney.

"The timing for us couldn't have been worse but the thought of standing in his way for something that could be life-changing we would never do.

"Everyone in the changing room to a man is delighted for him and we look forward to following his progress and we really hope he kicks on."

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