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Interview

Kearney ‘proud’ of Coleraine achievements

ORAN Kearney spoke to Jonathan McNabb and Steven Crawford after being given a guard of honour following his appointment at St Mirren…

Kearney ended his seven-and-a-half year stint at The Showgrounds after penning a three-year deal with the Buddies, who were recently promoted back to the top flight of Scottish football.

Kearney described this week as an ‘absolute tornado’ but is excited about the challenges ahead.

“It’s been an absolute tornado, just surreal,” Kearney said.

“Coming home on the bus on Monday night after the Crusaders game I was on top of the world with the result and going top of the league.

“I was probably feeling like us all that we hadn’t hit the heights of last season just yet by our own standards, but we were up and running now and we could go and have another real big crack at it.

“The thought of standing here now conducting this interview feels like an outer-body experience.

“It has been a crazy and emotional week on all fronts, in family, school and football, but a brilliant week.

“When you go over there today and look at the training ground and the stadium it’s brilliant, and really exciting.”

Kearney revealed he had to weigh up all his options outside of football before agreeing the move to Paisley after a whirlwind 72 hours.

“In footballing terms everyone was saying ‘Do it, do it’, but it wasn’t just as simple as that,” he added.

“There’s so many things I had to take into consideration, and it’s the ability to deal with all that.

“I need to know everything is okay family-wise so that I can go and do the job I want to.

“If I have any reservations in my mind that it’s not then I won’t be able to go and do that job.

“The family won’t move over straight away, we’re going to leave it a few months and I’ll commute back and forth.

“It’s crazy how short a trip it is, I could probably be in Glasgow quicker than I could be in Dublin.

“It’s just until I find my feet over there, and to be honest the first few months are probably going to be so busy I would see them as much as I would at home anyway.

“We’re confident we’ve found a way that will work, but you’re ripping apart your whole life in the space of 72 hours.”

The 40-year-old thanked everyone who had sent him good luck messages after being unveiled as the new St Mirren manager but admits he is now ‘starting from scratch’ at his new club.

“I’m going there knowing nobody, with no routine or anything,” he continued.

“It will be a big step walking in there on Monday morning, and Friday night will be the same.

“I know everybody on the Coleraine dressing room inside out, I know their families, I know everything about them.

“But now I’m starting from scratch again.

“I haven’t even seen half of the messages yet, hopefully I’ll get a chance over the next few days.

“My phone hasn’t stopped, I’ve had hundreds of messages wishing me well.

“It’s crazy, I’m just so proud and delighted.

“And all the boys here at Coleraine, they’re a great bunch and couldn’t be more supportive.

“I just hope they can kick on now and keep motoring.”

Kearney – who helped the Bannsiders lift their first piece of silverware in 15 years – is proud to leave the club in the position to compete for major honours going forward.

“The one thing you want to do in life and your job is to leave the place in a better place than you found it,” he concluded.

“When I arrived here the budget have been cut again and I look at what I’ve left I’m as proud as punch.

“It’s a hell of a squad, it’s a hell of a team and it’s a hell of a club.

“There’s not one player in there that isn’t mine.

“I do take great credit for it and I’m delighted to take great credit for it because I’m immensely proud of it.

“It speaks volumes for me and Coleraine, and I suppose that’s why I’m in the scenario I’m in now.”

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