'I feel I have unfinished business' - Coleraine boss Kearney on a possible future return to full-time football

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney
Kearney has led his side to home and away wins over both Crusaders and Linfield

Coleraine manager Oran Kearney says he "feels he has unfinished business" in full-time professional football and does not rule out a return in future.

Kearney returned to manage Coleraine for a second time after managing St Mirren for 10 months and helping them stay in the Scottish Premiership.

"Whether I get to finish that business I'll never know," said Kearney.

"I'm not pining to go. I love where I'm at, I'm at a great club and we are in a real good place at this point in time."

Kearney parted company with St Mirren at the end of June after guiding the Paisley club to a play-off win over Dundee United and was appointed Coleraine boss the following week.

While he acknowledges he is happy being in charge of the Irish Premiership club, the former Ballymena United and Linfield player concedes that he would consider another opportunity to manage in a full-time capacity should the opportunity ever arise.

"I am very proud of what I was able to do during the year I was in Scotland under the circumstances," added the 41-year-old.

"Am I craving to go back across? No I'm not. Have I itchy feet to get away from Coleraine? No I don't. Could I manage Coleraine for the next 10 or 15 years? I absolutely could.

"But from a career point of view I would never say never about what could happen. Having said that when you go to England or Scotland you are in a merry-go-round in terms of longevity.

Oran Kearney says he would not rule out a return to full-time football in the future

"I enjoyed my time over there and I know I can do the job and I know I can function in full-time football. I have the skill set to do that but at this moment in time my only focus is three points this Saturday.

"For me it's just about keeping the head down. I don't have an agent, I don't tout myself about, so it's very much business as usual.

"From a manager's point of view I'm 41 and the majority of managers go into their 60s. From that perspective I have a huge amount of time left and I'll always keep an open mind to everything in life and football."

'It's important we kick on for this next third'

Coleraine lie top of the Premiership and are unbeaten in the 14 top-flight matches they have played so far, including home and away victories over pre-season fancied title favourites Linfield and Crusaders.

"We have a lot of players who were there in my previous time in charge, plus some new players and it has all gelled together very quickly.

"Everyone has bought in to what we are trying to do, we have a real togetherness, we're a tight knit group and everyone knows they are a big part of it.

"We are a third of the way through the season so you don't start to think about titles until March or April. It's been a good start and that's all it has been.

"It's important now that we kick on for this next third. It's about individual goals and collective goals and getting a level of consistency - that's what we aspire to.

"We'll leave it to other people to talk about titles - that's not something we discuss as a squad - our job is to put points on the board."

Regeneration plan for Showgrounds

Kearney was speaking on the day Coleraine announced plans to regenerate the pitch, grandstands, training pitch and surrounding areas at the Showgrounds.

The club held a redevelopment information evening in its social club last week, at which chairman Colin McKendry told fans that the upgrades were required so that the club "doesn't fall behind their rivals".

"The new project would see a 2,000 all-seater grandstand, which would be covered to provide shelter, as well offices being on the top tier, with light engineering units at the bottom," Coleraine said in a statement.

"This new stand would increase capacity for UEFA games, with extra fixtures expected to be a formality when the UEFA Conference League commences in 2021.

"The club would like this new stand to be developed and ready to go in three to five years but it could be quicker if money is available through the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL)."

Earlier this year the club revealed plans to install a new 4G surface, which will cost in the region of £450,000 to £480,000, for the start of next season.

The club also said that the Jack Doherty Grandstand is in total need of refurbishment, saying that they would like to extend the entire stand and replace the present changing facilities and Social Club.

"As a result of this refurbishment, there would be a minimum of four changing rooms, a new medical room which is a UEFA requirement and a new social club/café that overlooks the pitch," the statement added.

Coleraine also said they have plans to replace the current training pitch at the back of the Away End Stand and install three 4G small-sided game pitches, with floodlights, changing facilities, community rooms and a cafe.

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