FOOTBALL: Striker on radar

ORAN Kearney will hold talks with Timmy Adamson this week as he steps up his player search.

The Bannsiders boss has had a busy few weeks as he goes about rebuilding his squad ahead of next season.

He was put on alert at the end of last week though after Adamson had a transfer request granted by Dungannon Swifts.

Kearney described the frontman as someone who ‘fits the bill’ in terms of the type of player he is trying to recruit.

Adamson was a real thorn in Coleraine’s side last term netting five times in four games against the Bannsiders. And he is a player Kearney is very familiar with as they were team-mates during the 28-year-old’s ill-fated spell at Linfield.

“I’ve been identifying players who I think can take this club forward and Timmy fits the bill,” said Kearney said.

“I’ve written to Dungannon to request permission to speak with him and we should meet at some point during the next week.

“With a player of his quality, there will undoubtedly be a lot of interest in him, but hopefully we can persuade him his future lies at The Showgrounds.”

Glentoran, Crusaders, Portadown and Glenavon have all been linked with Adamson, so if Kearney can land the striker it would be a major coup for The Showgrounds outfit.

The Bannsiders boss has already been boosted with the news of several players committing their futures to the club.

Last week John Watt, Aaron Canning, David Ogilby and Stephen Lowry all agreed new deals.

And at the weekend Kearney confirmed Michael Hegarty and Gareth Tommons had also signed on.

“We’re delighted to confirm Michael has agreed a new two-year deal,” he said.

“Michael is a terrific player who works very hard for the team and does a lot of work which often goes unnoticed on the pitch.

“He will continue to be an important part of my squad over the next two seasons.”

Meanwhile Tommons has re-negotiated his current deal under the revised wage structure and has signed an extension which will also keep him at Coleraine until summer 2013.

The former Limavady United midfielder has made 88 appearances, scoring eight goals since arriving at The Showgrounds in January 2009.

“Gareth is a very promising player,” Kearney said.

“He will have a big role to play in the future of the club and again we are happy he has committed himself to Coleraine for a further two years.”

Meanwhile, there will be another familiar face back at The Showgrounds this summer after it was confirmed Scottish Premier League club Kilmarnock will play the Bannsiders in a pre-season friendly.

Former Coleraine manager Kenny Shiels is in charge at the Rugby Park club now and he will bring his new side over to face his son-in-law on Saturday 9 July.

The game is likely to be the first friendly of the summer and comes a week before Coleraine travel to Scotland to participate in the Stena Cup in Stranraer.

Shiels joined the club as Assistant Manager last summer, but was placed in charge after Mixu Paatelainen left to take charge of the Finland national side and is thought to be a strong candidate to take the job on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

The visit of the SPL side will no doubt rekindle memories of Coleraine’s greatest night in European competition, when Bertie Peacock’s side eliminated Kilmarnock from the 1970/71 Fairs Cup. Coleraine drew the first leg 1-1 at home, but were 2-0 down after 22 minutes in the away leg, only for a second half hat-trick from Des Dickson to turn the tie on its head.

Details of further pre-season friendlies will be released when available

STORY: Steven Crawford.