COLERAINE striker Leon Knight has ended months of speculation over his future by sensationally agreeing a new two-year contract with the club.
It looked as though the front man had played his last game for the club when last season ended as he made no secret of his desire to return to England.
A trial with Swindon Town collapsed before Knight declared his desire to join Glentoran before being subsequently suspended by the Bannsiders.
But on Monday afternoon Oran Kearney revealed Knight had committed his future to the club.
“I am delighted to announce that Leon Knight has agreed a new two-year deal with the club,” said Kearney.
“Leon has undoubted quality and is highly regarded by everyone at the club, but in the last few months he felt that his future lay away from the Showgrounds.
“Thankfully he has had a change of heart and feels that his future lies with us. There is no better way to demonstrate his faith in us and our faith in him by signing a new two-year deal with the club.
“I said before that we only want players who are committed to the cause, proud to wear the shirt and 100% focused on winning games for our fantastic fans.
“I believe that a new two- year deal meets all the aforementioned criteria and I am excited to have secured his services for a further two seasons.
“Leon is keen to get back scoring goals again and although he has missed some of pre season we will do our upmost as a backroom staff to get him caught up with the rest of the players.
“I’m glad to bring this saga to a close with a happy ending for the club and now we all can move on to concentrate on winning matches and making this a successful season.”
Knight revealed he was happy to have his future decided and that he was looking forward to getting back to playing football.
“At no point did the manager, the chairman or anyone from the club come out and say they didn’t want me,” he said after agreeing the new deal.
“They made it clear that the door was always open for me to come back to Coleraine.
“I came out and said the things I said about wanting to leave and at the time, I felt it was right for me, but things change.
“I’ve spoken at great length with the manager over the last three or four days and I came back to him wanting to work something out. Agreeing a new two-year deal shows my commitment to the club and that I’m eager to put the last few week behind me.
“Now I’m just looking forward to getting back playing again and I’m hoping to be involved on August 6th when the new season starts.
“I accept that I’ll be a little bit behind the other players in terms of their pre-season training, but I will work hard with the coaching staff in order to prove my fitness and hopefully I can earn my place in the team.”
Kearney revealed that Knight would wear the number 29 shirt when he returns to action with the Bannsiders this season.