Belfast Telegraph

Boyce weighing up options as Glentoran wait

By Graham Luney

Darren Boyce has admitted he is facing one of the biggest decisions of his career with Glentoran and Portadown waiting to pounce if he turns down a new contract offer at Coleraine.

Boyce wants assurances from Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney that Coleraine will be a formidable force next season but the departure of Stephen Carson to Glentoran has made the job of keeping the 25-year-old at the Showgrounds a more difficult one.

Oval chief Scott Young desperately wants Boyce to link up with Carson in east Belfast as the Glens set out to break Linfield’s stranglehold on the Gibson Cup.

But Kearney is also determined to strengthen his Coleraine squad and after losing Carson, he is haunted by the prospect of losing other big names such as Boyce, striker Leon Knight and goalkeeper Davy O’Hare.

“I have to weigh everything up in my mind,” said Boyce who previously joined the Glens in January 2008, but returned to Coleraine after failing to secure a regular starting place.

“Glentoran and Portadown have expressed an interest in me and it is always nice to be wanted but it has certainly given me a lot of thinking to do.

“I’m no different than any other player in the sense that I want to win medals and Oran (Kearney) outlined to me what players he wants to bring to the club.

“I know I left Glentoran before but Scott Young, who was a coach then, thought I should hang in there and not leave. Carsy signing for them is a big signing and certainly gives them a better chance of winning the league.

“I was surprised he left but then again, he has never won anything and a player of his quality deserves to be a winner.

“Coleraine have offered me all they can and Oran wants me to stay.”

Kearney said: “The offer we’ve made Darren is a very good one, but I know he’s a footballer first and foremost and any decision he will make will be a footballing one.”

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