Full time lure proves too much as Ben Doherty heads to Larne

Coleraine have confirmed Ben Doherty's two-and-a-half year stay at The Showgrounds has come to an end after the midfielder agreed a switch to Larne.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 6:25 pm

Tiernan Lynch's side had been heavily linked with a move for Doherty, who scored 37 goals in 86 appearances for the Bannsiders.

And Coleraine boss Oran Kearney says the lure of full-time football proved too much for them to try and keep the former Derry City man at the club.

“We can compete with every club on the pitch, but sadly full time football is not an option for us at the moment," he said.

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Ben Doherty has left Coleraine for Larne

"So when full-time clubs approach our players it becomes a dilemma especially if the player has aspirations to be full time with the lifestyle that it presents.

"Once it became apparent that Ben was keen on the opportunity we have to do what's best for the club."

Conor McKendry will be moving the other way as part of the deal and Kearney paid tribute to Doherty, who netted memorable strikes in Europe for the club against Motherwell, NK Maribor and FK Velez Mostar.

“After several days of intense negotiations, an agreement was struck and Ben was given permission to speak with Larne last night, a deal that also involved Conor McKendry coming to Coleraine," revealed Kearney.

“In my two years working with Ben, he has been a great lad, a top pro and a pleasure to manage. He will be fondly remembered for that winning penalty in Maribor and we wish him well for the future.”