Brad Lyons will shine in Scotland, vows Kearney as midfielder joins St Mirren
Former Coleraine midfielder Brad Lyons will link up with Oran Kearney at St Mirren for the second half of the season.
The 21-year-old has joined St Mirren on loan from Blackburn Rovers, with whom he recently finalised an 18-month contract. He has played ten games for Rovers' U23s in the Premier League 2 since his summer switch but will now move to Scotland as he looks to make his senior debut in full-time football.
"It's a simple enough one for me," Kearney said. "I've worked with him for so long and I've seen him at close hand. I always had the belief that he could go and do it. He's proved that - Blackburn speak very highly of him in how he's gone about his business there and I've no doubt he will hit the ground running with us."
Kearney went on to say the midfielder has 'everything' St Mirren need in the battle to stave off relegation.
"I absolutely know that the fans will love him and I know what I will get from him in training and on a match day," he told the club website. "It’s everything we need for the battle we are in.
"He’s a central midfielder who is versatile in that I could ask him to play in front of the back four and he would do that with great discipline or I could ask him to play ahead of the midfield and link things and get beyond. He will bring a huge amount of good attributes to us, but more than anything a hunger and a desire to be here. He’s so keen to push on and it’s that hunger and desire that is so important."
Lyons made just under 100 appearances for Coleraine and is now excited to kick-start his professional career.
"It’s absolute brilliant and I can’t wait to get started at such a great club," Lyons told the St Mirren club website.
"There were always rumours because the manager was at Coleraine. I was buzzing that the club was interested in me because it’s such a great club in a high league. I know the way the manager works and he knows the way I play so that relationship was always going to stand us in good stead."
Lyons is Kearney's fourth signing of the January window, adding to goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky, Romanian defender Mihai Popescu and midfielder Greg Tansey. The Buddies are currently second bottom in the Scottish Premiership, two points ahead of Dundee and two behind Hamilton.
Kearney was speaking at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards, where he was named Manager/Coach of the Year (Platinum) sponsored by Linwoods.
"It's been that year where I finished eight years of hard work at Coleraine with the Cup final which was brilliant," he said. "The second half of the year has taken a whole new path which I've enjoyed. Now the transfer window has given me a chance to put my own stamp on the St Mirren squad.
"We have a huge January that is going well so far and more business still to do."
While drawing parallels between Coleraine at St Mirren as two 'community clubs', Kearney also made sure to note his dad's 70th birthday, which is being celebrated today.
"Him and my mother have been brilliant so I just want to say happy birthday," said Oran. "I also have to say thank-you to my wife who has has been fantastic during my move to Scotland as I commute over the there and my family lives here."
Belfast Telegraph Digital