Oran Kearney: Former manager returns for second spell at Coleraine

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Oran Kearney has been reappointed as manager of Coleraine

Oran Kearney has been appointed as manager of Coleraine for a second time.

The 40-year-old has signed a two-year contract with the Bannsiders 10 months after leaving to manage St Mirren.

He parted company with the Scottish Premiership outfit last month after keeping them in the top flight with a play-off win over Dundee United.

Kearney takes over at the Showgrounds from Rodney McAree, who left the club by mutual consent in May after failing to guide them to European football.

Kearney guided Coleraine to Irish Cup success in May 2018, a week after finishing league runners-up to Crusaders in a close race for the Irish Premiership title.

Rodney McAree
McAree left Dungannon Swifts to take over at Coleraine in September 2018

'I'm the right fit for Coleraine'

"I completed the job of keeping St Mirren up when we were wrote off from Christmas and I had hoped I would secure another season there to build something," said Kearney, who has an option of a further year on his deal at the Showgrounds.

"It hasn't worked out that way, but that's football. There is no point in trying to question it for too long, but instead it's better to look forward.

"Time doesn't stand still. Once you've finished feeling sorry for yourself you need to kick on and look for the next challenge.

"Coming back to Coleraine is this right fit for me because I know the club. I took seven years to build a team that won the Irish Cup and was close to winning the league.

"I take a lot of pride in that and also in the impact it had on the local community. They are great memories for me, but it's important now to come back and get us back up there."

After only being beaten to the league title on the final day of the 2017-18 season under Kearney, the Bannsiders finished sixth under McAree last campaign and lost their Europa League play-off against Cliftonville.

Kearney's coaching staff of William Murphy, Trevor McKendry and Paul Owens remained at the Showgrounds after he left and he will work with them once again.

Kearney would consider another shot at full-time football

Coleraine beat Crusaders at Seaview in the last match of his first spell as manager
Coleraine beat Crusaders at Seaview in the last match of his first spell as manager

The former Linfield midfielder said he has no concerns about returning to his former job, but also revealed he would consider a move back into full-time football again if the offer was made.

"It would have been easy for me to rest on my laurels and live off our Irish Cup success for the next 15 or 20 years but that's not what I'm about," he added.

"People say you should never go back but memories like that make people hungry. The club didn't hit the heights they would have wanted to last season and it's important we try to get back up there again.

"As it sits at the minute I'm delighted to be back at Coleraine, but you never say never in the future. I proved to myself last season that I can do the job.

"If other opportunities come along down the line then so be it, but for me at the minute the most important thing is getting on with this job at Coleraine."

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