St Mirren confirm Oran Kearney departure as Coleraine plan talks
St Mirren have parted company with manager Oran Kearney by "mutual consent", the Ladbrokes Premiership club have announced.
Kearney's departue was widely expected after reports emerged last week of a fall-out with chairman Gordon Scott over the Northern Irishman's plans to continue commuting across the Irish Sea from his family home in Ballymoney.
In a short statement, the Buddies said: "The club wish to thank Oran for his time in charge and wish him every success in the future."
Kearney will now become former club Coleraine's number one target as the Bannsiders continue their search for a new boss.
It's been six weeks since Rod McAree's departure was confirmed and club chairman Colin McKendry admitted earlier this week that he would approach Kearney should he become available.
"If Oran, as a former manager of Coleraine who had built something special at the club, became available, it would be totally remiss of me not to approach him. He knows the club and many of his players are still there," he said.
"As a person running a business at Coleraine, I know how good a manager Oran is and also what a good person he is.
"I would assume we would not be the only people looking to talk to him simply because of his ability and his reputation.
"What he has done at St Mirren, in my opinion, has been astonishing. Personally, I would love Oran back at our club but we will see what happens."
Kearney left Coleraine to take charge of the Paisley club in September. 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 and avoid relegation care of a play-off win over Dundee United.
Coleraine striker Eoin Bradley said that the Bannsiders squad would 'do cartwheels' to get Kearney back at the helm.
"I think the players would do cartwheels to bring Oran back. We had a great bond, and whenever he left it was the closing of a very successful chapter for the club.
"There were a lot of disappointed people but there can be bigger and better things in life and we understood Oran's desire to test himself in the Scottish Premiership.
"The players loved him and I got on well with Oran outside football as well as within the game.
"You couldn't meet a nicer fella and we were lucky to have him."
St Mirren are expected to appoint club legend and Alloa manager Jim Goodwin as Kearney's successor.
Belfast Telegraph Digital