Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine set to confirm Oran Kearney's appointment as manager

Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry (left) and returning manager Oran Kearney (right).
Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry (left) and returning manager Oran Kearney (right).
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Coleraine will confirm Oran Kearney's return to the Showgrounds this evening.

The Bannsiders will unveil their new manager at 6pm, with supporters welcome at the club's ground for 5.45pm.

Kearney left St Mirren by mutual consent last month after reports emerged of a fall-out with chairman Gordon Scott over the Ballymoney man plans to continue commuting across the Irish Sea from his family home.

It has now been over seven weeks since Rod McAree left the Bannsiders but the supporters' wait for a new boss will soon be over.

And there could be no better appointment in their eyes than the man that delivered the Irish Cup last year.

Throughout the search for McAree's successor, which included a failed bid to coax Dundalk into allowing assistant manager Ruaidhri Higgins to leave Oriel Park, Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry has made little secret of the fact that Kearney would be club's ideal choice.

The former Linfield player did enjoy a successful nine-month stint in charge at St Mirren, safely staving off relegation to the Scottish Championship with a play-off win over Dundee United. He oversaw a 0-0 draw with champions Celtic in his first match and guided the club to an eight-match unbeaten run to end the season.

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Kearney's first spell in charge of the Bannsiders lasted seven years. Chairman McKendry's faith during some sticky patches was rewarded in the stunning 17/18 season during which Coleraine lost only one league game, finishing two points short of champions Crusaders before lifting the Irish Cup with a final win over Cliftonville.

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