Oran Kearney to exit St Mirren less than a year after becoming manager

St Mirren manager Oran Kearney celebrates their play-off win
Oran Kearney's side beat Dundee United on penalties to stay in the Premiership

Oran Kearney is to part company with St Mirren less than a year after joining as manager.

The Scottish Premiership club are expected to confirm the 40-year-old's exit "by mutual consent".

St Mirren were to play Kearney's former club Coleraine in a friendly on Saturday, but that has been postponed.

Signed on a three-year contract, Kearney kept St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership after a play-off win over Dundee United, having finished 11th.

But the Northern Irishman was not at St Mirren's return to pre-season training on Monday.

Kearney had reportedly been told to stay away, but the Paisley club's players admitted they were in the dark over the manager's future as they arrived at the club's Ralston training base to start preparations for the new season.

It means St Mirren will be looking for their 10th manager in just over nine years.

Kearney had said he was keen to remain with St Mirren and build on improved form at the end of the season despite his wife and family remaining in Northern Ireland, but chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick had to play down suggestions that the manager could return to Coleraine.

He has been commuting from Paisley to Ballymoney in his homeland around once a week and Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry indicated to the BBC that Kearney would be their "number one target" to fill their managerial vacancy if he left St Mirren and became available.

McKendry described a potential move for the club's former manager as "a no brainer", adding that he had "never hidden the fact that he would be keen to have Oran back at the club should he return to Northern Ireland".

Coleraine continue to search for a new manager more than six weeks after the sacking of Kearney's successor, Rod McAree, and the Northern Ireland Football League Premiership outfit confirmed last week that they had failed in a bid to bring in Dundalk assistant Ruaidhri Higgins.

Sports scientist and former St Mirren winger Junior Mendes put the first-team squad through a series of fitness tests on Monday, while youth chief Allan McManus and goalkeeping coach Jamie Langfield were also on hand along with technical director Gus MacPherson.

Kearney was first interviewed for the job last summer, but the Paisley club appointed Alan Stubbs instead before turning to the Northern Irishman after a poor start to the season.

Former Buddies manager MacPherson left his job as Queen's Park head coach to assist Kearney in September, while Northern Ireland assistant Jimmy Nicholl was appointed first-team coach in November.

However, the latter departed St Mirren to become James McPake's assistant with Dundee in May after their relegation to the Championship.

Top Stories