Coleraine remain tight-lipped as Dean Shiels set to replace Oran Kearney in Showgrounds hot seat

A picture of Dean Shiels and Oran Kearney
-Credit: (Image: David Cavan)


Coleraine Football Club are staying tight-lipped on news that there's set to be a major change at the helm of with Dean Shiels taking charge of first team affairs replacing Oran Kearney. Long-term boss Kearney, who is in his second spell in charge of the Bannsiders, looks set to be named as the club's Director of Football as they take the steps towards a more full-time set-up.

It's a major reshuffle for Coleraine with former player Shiels, who was only appointed as part of Kearney's backroom team back in April, set to follow in his father Kenny's footsteps, who managed the Showgrounds outfit in the mid-1990s. The former Northern Ireland international spent two years as boss at Dungannon Swifts leaving last summer after the club staved off relegation to the Championship.

The Bannsiders board are set to meet on Tuesday evening to confirm the new appointments and as such would not comment ahead of the meeting. However, according to reports the decision has already been made to make the managerial change.

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The club has spent the last few weeks determining the structure going forward. The long-term strategy is to move into a full-time model however with a number of key players at the club still part-time decisions will have to be made about the immediate future.

Matthew Shevlin is one player in question whose future is up for debate. Shevlin has developed into one of the top strikers in the league and the club are keen to tie him down to a new deal, but with a career outside football it still remains to be seen how the former Ballymena United and Linfield man would fit into the new structure.

It is understood a meeting will be held on Tuesday evening to ratify the direction the club is going in. The club's new owners Bannsiders Holdings, led by London-based businessmen Ranald McGregor-Smith and Patrick Mitchell, have spoken of their desire to take the club into a full-time set-up in a bid to bring success to the Showgrounds.

The immediate future and strategy is the most pressing for the club however. With several players' futures to resolve and recruitment ahead of the new season to be completed the new football operations set-up will have plenty to sort in the coming weeks.

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