PREMIERSHIP: Coleraine won’t stand in Oran Kearney’s way

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney.  Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Coleraine manager Oran Kearney. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry says the club would never stand in manager Oran Kearney’s way if the offer of a job in full-time football came along.

Kearney has emerged as a surprise candidate for the vacant St Mirren post alongside the likes of Guti and Alan Subbs, and he is set to be interviewed this week.

McKendry admitted Kearney would leave a massive hole at the club if he left, but that he would go with their blessing.

“I would love to keep him at Coleraine but we would never stand in his way to go in to full-time football,” he said.

“From the club’s perspective though we would be left with a massive hole to fill.”

It is understood that Northern Ireland boss Michael O’ Neill has highlighted Kearney’s qualities to the Paisley club, and similarities have been drawn between him and former Buddies boss Jack Ross, who has since gone on to join Sunderland.

“I think Michael spoke highly of Oran to people at St Mirren,” explained McKendry.

“I know he admires Oran’s planning and meticulous attention to detail.

“I think Oran and their former boss Jack Ross have a lot of similarities.

“They would approach things in a similar way, such as bringing young players through and being courageous in their decision making.”

After landing the Irish Cup and coming within a whisker of the League title McKendry has no doubts that Kearney could be a success in Scotland.

“I have absolutely no doubt that Oran could do a good job in Scotland’s top flight,” he said.

“He has total confidence, is structured and professional, and I know he could do great things.

“Oran has a great life here, he has a professional job outside football, he has a young family, and probably lots of reasons why he should stay.

“But St Mirren are a Scottish Premiership club and I believe he should go and speak to them.”