Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine receive bid for McGonigle but Kearney determined to keep star striker

Goal king: Jamie McGonigle
Goal king: Jamie McGonigle

Coleraine are facing a battle to hold on to key marksman Jamie McGonigle.

The Bannsiders, who welcomed back boss Oran Kearney on Wednesday evening, have received a bid for the striker, believed to be from Crusaders.

However, as Kearney takes up the reins at the Showgrounds once again, one of his early priorities will be ensuring that McGonigle stays at the club.

“We absolutely want to keep Jamie, strikers in the Irish League are like hen’s teeth. We want him to remain here,” Kearney said.

“Jamie was a 20-goal-a-season striker when I was in charge and it’s not someone you want to be losing from your squad.

“However, he has a year left on his contract and he will have a part to play in the decision as well as we want players here who want to be here.

“I haven’t had a chance to speak to him as yet but we’ll see where it goes once I do.”

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The 23-year-old has hit double figures in the Danske Bank Premiership in all of the last three seasons.

His 16 strikes during the 17/18 campaign that almost brought the Gibson Cup back to the Showgrounds was enough to attract a bid from Crusaders last summer.

However, Coleraine rejected that approach and McGonigle said a couple of months later that his focus was firmly fixed on bringing further success to the north coast.

"All I know is that Coleraine rejected the offer and that was that," he said just before netting twice as Coleraine won 3-0 at Seaview in September.

"I'm just worried about my performances on the pitch. It's always nice to know that clubs are interested in you, but I'm happy at Coleraine and I want to try and win more trophies here."

Oran Kearney's first game in his second spell in charge of the club will be at Stranraer on Saturday afternoon.

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