Belfast Telegraph

The hurting has stopped, time to fight: Coleraine manager Kearney on Showgrounds return

Oran Kearney is back in charge at Coleraine. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Oran Kearney is back in charge at Coleraine. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney is back in charge at the showgrounds. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry (left) and returning manager Oran Kearney (right).
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

Oran Kearney returns to Coleraine ready to fight.

The Ballymoney man returns to the club on a two-year contract, with an option to extend.

Kearney said he didn't expect to return to the club as recently as 10 days ago and felt he had done enough to continue on for at least another year at St Mirren but wasn't looking back.

"Football - as in life - can change very quickly," he told UTV.

"It has been a tough couple of weeks but as a good friend who once coached me - Mr Gregg - said 'once you stop hurting you stop fighting' and the hurting has stopped and it's time to start fighting again."

He said Coleraine was in a different place to when he left and there was a lot of work needed both on and off the pitch.

"Not only with Coleraine but also with what has happened in the league with Larne and Glentoran and different teams going full time.

Sign In

"It's important to get back out there and go again."

He was first appointed at Coleraine in 2011 winning the Irish Cup in 2018 and taking his side to runners up in the league that year.

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.

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

Speaking to colerainefc.com, Chairman Colin McKendry spoke of his delight at Kearney's return.

“The board of directors and I are delighted to welcome Oran back to this football club,” he said.

"We are convinced that he has the necessary knowledge and temperament to lead the club to the success we all desire.

“Oran has a great record in identifying and developing players, and has identified potential targets as we look to strengthen the squad this summer.

“This a special day for our club, our fans and for Oran.”

Kearney is to take charge of first-team training on Thursday evening.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph