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Kearney looks to bring in Northern Irish coach as boss aims for the stars at St Mirren

Thanks boss: Coleraine players salute Oran Kearney and his children, twins Luca and Ava, during Saturday evening's farewell.
Thanks boss: Coleraine players salute Oran Kearney and his children, twins Luca and Ava, during Saturday evening's farewell.

Oran Kearney has given his first press conference as St Mirren manager and has further explained his Scottish Premiership title dreams.

Kearney, whose existing backroom team will remain at Coleraine, has made contact with Northern Ireland assistant and former Rangers number two Jimmy Nicholl over joining him at the Paisley club.

The former Coleraine boss also said at the weekend that his ultimate dream for the Buddies was to land the Scottish title.

That, in a league totally dominated by Celtic and with Rangers on the rise, understandably raised a few eyebrows.

"If you watch the interview back and you actually listen to the question, the question is, 'what would you like to achieve with St Mirren?'," he told BBC Scotland.

"And my answer was like it would be for Coleraine at eight years, and at any club that I've ever been to, my aspiration at the start of every season is win a league or to win a cup because I think you have to reach for the stars in anything that you do.

"If the question was, 'can you win the league with St Mirren this season?', I think the answer would've probably been different.

"You have to set your aspirations high. At Coleraine, in my very first year, I wanted to win cups and leagues and it took us seven years to do that, but we won a cup and we got there. If you don't set your standards high and, if you don't reach for the stars, I don't think you'll ever reach them."

The club have confirmed that they will appoint a Technical Director to assist Kearney, who makes the move into full-time football for the first time.

"I think it's so important that I have somebody who knows the league and understands the league," said the former school teacher. "For the first while, (the technical director) is going to be so helpful to me. They're going to be my eyes and ears."

"I've had a great nearly eight years at Coleraine, I've been 16 years in school as well.

"I feel the 16 years in school will serve me as good as the eight years in football with Coleraine because the skills that are needed to deal with people and build relationships are so important."

St Mirren have had six permanent managers over the last four years, but Kearney says that record isn't as worrying as it seems.

"With my recollection, the new board have only been in place for one or two of those managers," Kearney said.

"It would be unfair to speak about old regimes. It's not scary, it's exciting. You have to see it as a challenge and something that I do feel I'm ready for."

Kearney interviewed for the job during the summer after Jack Ross chose to leave in order to join Sunderland in League One. Alan Stubbs was preferred before he departed last Monday evening, just as Coleraine began their 3-0 win over Crusaders.

"Jack obviously left for reasons nothing to do with the board," Kearney continued. "I think, if the board had their way, I wouldn't be standing here now and it's fair to say that."

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