Belfast Telegraph

Confirmed: Coleraine sign Derry City's Ben Doherty in Ciaron Harkin swap deal

Ben Doherty with Coleraine boss Rodney McAree.
Ben Doherty with Coleraine boss Rodney McAree.

Coleraine have confirmed the signing of Derry City's Ben Doherty with midfielder Ciaron Harkin going in the opposite direction.

Doherty cut his teeth in the Irish League at Glenavon, who he joined on a short-term loan deal during the summer. The 21-year-old has scored two Danske Bank Premiership goals during 15 league starts for the Lurgan Blues, for whom he has featured at left-back and in central midfield.

He said he was delighted to sign a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Bannsiders.

"Buzzing to get going now and get down on New Year’s Day to meet all the lads," he said.

Doherty had announced earlier this month that he would not return to full-time Derry City due to work commitments. He will wear the number 23 shirt and make his debut in the Irish Cup against H&W Welders.

“We are delighted to secure the services of a quality footballer who is adaptable at playing across different positions,” said boss Rodney McAree who made Doherty his second signing after securing the services of Jamie Glackin.

“Ben has a great eye for goal, he has a terrific delivery at set pieces and a sweet left foot.

“He is eager to get started and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Harkin started for Coleraine in Saturday afternoon's victory at Warrenpoint while Doherty came off the bench for Glenavon, who drew 3-3 with Institute.

He was a key component of Coleraine's Irish Cup success last season, playing in central midfield alongside Brad Lyons, who moved to Blackburn in the summer. The 22-year-old played for Derry City before joining Coleraine in January 2017 and he soon became one of the Irish League's standout midfielders during his side's run to second place in the league last term.

“Ciaron has been one of the best players I’ve worked with here at Coleraine,” McAree added.

“His love for Derry City meant the deal was a possibility and I believe that was the only club he’d leave us for.

“We wish him the best of luck and I’m sure everyone involved with the club thanks Ciaron for his contribution.”

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