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‘Skinner has been a massive part of our success’

COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney has labelled Eoin Bradley as “a club legend” after taking the difficult decision to not renew the striker’s contract…

Bradley, who is currently enjoying his second spell at The Showgrounds, will be a free agent once his contract expires at the end of the month.

The Glenullin man has made a total of 222 appearances for the Bannsiders, scoring 55 times in the process after initially joining the club in the summer of 2013.

After a solitary season on the Ballycastle Road, the former Derry GAA star would move to Glenavon where he helped the Lurgan Blues to lift the Irish Cup in 2016.

However, the lure of a move back to Coleraine would be too hard to turn down for ‘Skinner’ in January 2017 and his second spell saw him score in the Stripes’ Irish Cup success against Cliftonville in 2018, as well as being a part of the squad that won the BetMcLean League Cup in 2020.

Bradley also made eight appearances in Europe for Coleraine – netting in the penalty shoot-out win against NK Maribor.

Kearney remarked that the departure was a difficult one for all parties concerned but spoke passionately about the impact of Bradley’s contribution to the club.

“Skinner has absolutely been a great servant to Coleraine FC,” he said.

“I’ve openly admitted to him and others that it was my mistake to let him go back in 2014, but across his two spells, he has been outstanding.

“The second spell in particular, I remember he was signed alongside Ciaron Harkin and it seemed to light a switch as we went on a serious run and he has been a massive part of our success.

“In recent years, we have won the Irish Cup, League Cup, finished runners-up and had some memorable games in Europe and Skinner has been at the forefront of that both on and off the pitch.

“It was a really tough decision and the biggest compliment I can give to him is that there wouldn’t be so much mulling over another player at his age to push and go again.

“The term club legend is used very easily but when you factor in the success we have had in recent years, you can’t deny that Skinner has been a big part of that.

“He has had many big moments in a Coleraine shirt and will be fondly remembered for ‘that’ goal in the Irish Cup final.

“A huge personality both on and off the pitch, Skinner will always be welcome to the Coleraine Showgrounds.”