Coleraine chairman offers timeline on manager appointment

Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry with the Irish Cup in 2018. Pic by PressEye Ltd.Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry with the Irish Cup in 2018. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry with the Irish Cup in 2018. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Coleraine’s wait for a first-team manager could reach a conclusion by this weekend - according to club chairman Colin McKendry.

The Bannsiders’ search for a new face in the dugout dates back to Rodney McAree’s exit in early May.

Former boss Oran Kearney remains linked to a return to The Showgrounds in the aftermath of his departure last week from Scottish Premiership club St Mirren.

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McKendry confirmed on the Danske Bank Premiership club’s official social media accounts the drive to resolve the issue.

“We are working hard to get things across the line,” said McKendry. “We are currently negotiating and we hope to make an announcement shortly.

“Hopefully that’ll happen by this weekend, or early next week.”

McKendry has previously described as a “no brainer” the opportunity to hold talks with Kearney, who won the Irish Cup with Coleraine and guided the club to Danske Bank Premiership runners-up.

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However, McKendry has always highlighted the expected demand for Kearney from other clubs given his impressive work in the Irish League and Scotland.

With the start of the league campaign on Saturday, August 10, Coleraine players recently returned to pre-season training under the guidance of the existing backroom team.

“After we parted company with our former manager, the situation was clear that the backroom staff would prepare the team for pre-season,” said McKendry. “They also arranged a ‘pre’ pre-season for Alexander Gawne, Aaron Traynor, Aaron Burns and Lyndon Kane so that they can get rehabilitation programmes with Alan Millar and Chris Gregg.

“The players have came back fit, focused and have followed out instructions to the letter.

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“As a group, they know they didn’t hit the heights of the year previous and they have a steely determination to do well and fight for their places.”

McKendry offered the update on the managerial situation during an interview praising Coleraine fans for such strong support at the recent Open Day.

“Approximately 300 season tickets were sold and we are thankful to the fans who turned up for such a brilliant community event,” he said. “The buzz around The Showgrounds was great and I would like to give those involved a massive pat on the back for making it happen.

“It was extremely productive as it allowed children to meet and greet the players on the pitch, get their photographs taken and receive some autographs.

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“We also launched our new Avec Sport leisurewear and first-team strip and we think it looks well.

“We are looking forward to maintaining a good working relationship with Avec over the next three years.

“I would like to thank our sponsors G&H Television Services, Eventsec and North-West Independent Hospital for their continued support, as well as Top of the Town and RiverRidge for coming on board this season.”