Oran Kearney is the man for me says Aaron Traynor

Aaron Traynor has backed Oran Kearney to come back to ColeraineAaron Traynor has backed Oran Kearney to come back to Coleraine
Aaron Traynor has backed Oran Kearney to come back to Coleraine
Aaron Traynor says he would love to see former boss Oran Kearney take over at Coleraine again.

The Bannsiders are set to announce their new manager this evening with Kearney the strong favourite to take over from Rodney McAree, who replaced St Mirren-bound Kearney last year.

And Traynor, who was brought to The Showgrounds by the Ballymoney man two years ago, says if it was up to him Kearney would be back in the dugout again.

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"It's a no-brainer for me, I would 100% love to see Oran back at the club," he said.

"People keep asking me if he's coming back, I don't know what's happening, but if I had the choice he would be back, in fact he would never have left!

"I know the club are close to making an announcement and fingers crossed it will be Oran coming back.

"Hopefully the rumours are true, generally there's no smoke without fire."

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So what are the qualities Kearney possesses which impress Traynor so much?

"Oran signed people like myself, Stephen O'Donnell and Ciaron Harkin from the Championship, people had never heard of us, but he got the best out of us," he said.

"That's what he does with players. You look at someone like Josh Carson who didn't play much at Linfield, Oran brings him to Coleraine and he's been unbelievable for us.

"He turns people around, he gets hidden gems from other leagues. He breeds confidence through every player.

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"We saw that in the year before last when we were almost unbeatable throughout the entire season.

"Last season I don't think we committed 100 per cent, we have to look ourselves in the mirror and make sure we don't make the same mistake this year again."

It was a doubly frustrating time for the former Warrenpoint Town man last term as not only did the Bannsiders struggle to hit the heights of the previous campaign, but also Traynor was forced to watch almost all of it from the sidelines as he suffered a cruciate injury.

"It was hard to watch on from the sidelines because things were so up and down," he said.

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"One week we would get a win and you would think it was the start of something.

"I just had to sit back and watch every game and it was so frustrating.

"I think there was about six people who ended playing left back at some stage of the season!

"We had so many injuries and suspensions we just had to try and accommodate people in different positions.It just didn't work as it took away from our strongest eleven.

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"We were doing alright at the start of the season. We went up to Crusaders for the live Sky Sports game and beat them 3-0.

"We thought that was the momentum we needed, we were top of the league after five games.

"Everything was great. But fast forward two weeks and I had done my injury, we dropped some points including a 4-1 defeat at home to Glenavon and that was it the wheels seemed to have come off.

"We never really picked ourselves up from that. We huffed and puffed and had a couple of glimmers of hope with the Irish Cup semi-final and the Europa League play-off, but nothing really materialised.

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"Last year was a failure to be honest. This coming season is a big year for me personally and a big year for the club."

The full back knows the competition for honours will be even greater this year with the promotion of Larne and Glentoran's resurgence.

"There's real competition everywhere, the talent development over the last ten years is peaking now," he said.

"There's six or seven teams there who are all big, big clubs.

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"It's going to be very interesting and for the neutral I think it will be an unbelievable season.

"No-one will run away with it. It will be important to get a good start. We saw with ourselves two season ago we got off to a good start and were still there come the end of the season.

"Ballymena had a similar season last time out.

"A good start is key and we'll be looking to get the ball rolling against Cliftonville."