Coleraine boss Oran Kearney is hoping for clearance to allow him to parade new signing Ruaidhri Higgins in Friday night’s Danske Premiership clash against Dungannon Swifts at the Showgrounds.
The 30-year-old had his contract at League of Ireland champions Dundalk cancelled by mutual consent and he wasted no time in putting pen to paper on a two and a half year deal with the Bannsiders.
Higgins will now form a formidable midfield partnership with Ruairi Harkin and Neil McCafferty.
“It all depends on the international clearance whether Ruaidhri will be available or not,” said Kearney.
“It’s a brilliant signing. We had talked last summer but nothing happened. However, it just fell right for us this time.
“The trio we have now in midfield really excites me but it probably won’t be until next season that we really see the best of Ruaidhri. He comes here with a lot of experience and he’ll be a great guy to have around to help the likes of the young lads like Lyndon Kane and Adam Mullan.”
Kearney added: “Ruaidhri has just turned 30, so has plenty of good years ahead of him. He has won the League of Ireland five times and played in Europe countless times.
“That experience will prove vital for our young squad. He’s a great lad and has a real hunger about him and he will be a big, big player for us.”
Higgins, who made 40 appearances for Dundalk, is also relishing his new challenge.
“Coleraine is a big club and there is no reason why we can’t win silverware,” he said.
“There’s a great mix of youth and experience at the club and I have no doubt that something can be achieved. It might not happen overnight but you can never rule out winning things.
“I’m really excited to be joining the club.”
Kearney has also contacted Linfield about the prospect of bring the talented Matthew Clarke to the Showgrounds on a loan basis.