ORAN KEARNEY will give Darren Boyce all the time he needs to make the right decision about his future.
Times Sport revealed last week that Boyce had been offered a new contract with the Bannsiders amid speculation he could be following Stephen Carson out of the club.
However, Kearney revealed after Saturday’s 3-1 win over Glenavon Boyce still hadn’t come to a decision.
“I’ve had three or four good chats with Darren in the last week said Kearney.
“I’ve known Darren a long time and I know he’s not money orientated. We’ve made him a very good offer, and I know he’s more than happy with it.
“Since I made him the offer last week money hasn’t been talked about in the other chats we’ve had. The discussions have all been about football.
“He’s a footballer and it’s a football decision he wants to make.
“We’ve talked about my views and plans for the club and where I want to take Coleraine.
“I know I back myself and I know where we are going, but at this point in time Darren maybe needs more assurances.
“So I’ve been disclosing the time of player I want to bring to the club.
“A lot of it is hypothetical at the moment as I can’t produce any of this until the season ends.
“But Darren just wants to know that we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with next season.
“So I can’t argue with Darren from that side of things.
“He is at a point in his career were if he decides to go it will be very difficult for him to come back here.
“Darren has said on numerous occasions he always wanted to finish his career here.
“And he knows the fans put the money together to buy him back last time. So there is a big decision to be made.
“We’re at a point now were I hope I’ve answered every question and hopefully he’ll have made his mind up within the next week.
“I put an initial timeframe of knowing last week, but he wanted to speak to his father and some others and he feels he’s just not at a place to make a decision in this point in time.
“So I’ve got to respect that and I won’t be pressurising him or making deadlines for him, it’s up to Darren to come to the right answer in his own time.”
Kearney told Times Sport the striker was pleased with the reaction he got from the fans despite the doubts over his future.
“I took him off today to gauge the fans reaction to the whole situation and he told me he was pleased with the response he got when he came off,” said Kearney.
“Darren supports the club and he’s been here a long time. He knows it might be easier to still support the club and play elsewhere instead of taking abuse at times.
“But that’s part and parcel of the game. This time last year when he had chalked up 20-odd goals that wasn’t happening.
“And hopefully this time next year when he’s done the same it will all be water under the bridge as I’ve no doubt we’ll create chances for him and he’ll score them.”
Kearney is hopeful Boyce will commit himself to the club in the wake of Carson’s impending departure.
But he added it would only be the right decision if the player really wants to stay.
“It would be a boost if Darren commits himself to the club but only if mentally this is the place he wants to be,” he said.
“What I didn’t need from Stephen and what I don’t need from Darren is someone staying here because their heart rules their head.
“I’ve seen that happen at clubs in the past. If they don’t want to be here and they sign for reasons other than football it can be a very long season.
“I’d love him to be here, but if mentally he doesn’t want to be here then he won’t be.
“That’s why I’m glad he’s taking the extra time to make the correct decision, because either way it’ll be an easier job for me next season.”
Meanwhile, Glentoran confirmed on Sunday that Stephen Carson will be their player next season.
A statement on the Glens website confirmed the winger had signed a pre-contract agreement to join Scott Young’s side next season.