WAITING GAME

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ORAN Kearney has told Times Sport he is prepared to bide his time to make sure he gets the right players for Coleraine.

Other clubs have been dipping their toes in the transfer market over the last few weeks as the build up for the new season continues.

But Kearney says he hasn’t been tempted by what is on offer so far.

“It’s not just about going out and signing players,” said the Bannsiders boss.

“The last thing I will be doing is signing players just for the sake of it.

“It has to be about adding something to the squad. We have a pretty good squad here so maybe we there will only be one or two coming in.

“Ideally you have to strengthen and freshen up every summer, but as I say it has to be the right player and if something comes up we have to be ready to pounce, but there isn’t much about at the minute.”

It’s hard to believe but the squad report back for duty again in just under three weeks and Kearney is raring to go.

“We’re back in on the 26th and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“I think we’re all itching to get back at it again, which is a good sign but it’s important that the guys get there rest before the hard work begins.”

Pre-season training gets underway on Tuesday 26 June and two weeks later, on July 10, the team play their first friendly.

Just as last year, their opening opponents are Moyola Park at Mill Meadow (7.30pm kick off) and this is followed by a trip to Limavady United on Saturday July 14 (3pm). Ballymoney United are the first home opponents on Tuesday July 17 (7.30pm) before a trip to Tobermore United on Saturday July 21 (3pm).

N-Power League One outfit Bury provide the highest profile opposition at The Showgrounds on Saturday July 28 (3pm) before a short journey to Ballymoney to play Glebe Rangers on Tuesday July 31 (7.30pm)

Coleraine then host H&W Welders at The Showgrounds on Saturday August 4 (3pm) before rounding off their preparations with a visit to near-neighbours Portstewart on Monday August 6 (7.30pm). The Premiership season then starts on Saturday August 11.

“We have tried to keep the friendlies locally based as the fans have so much travelling to do during the season,” said Kearney.

“It really doesn’t matter who you play or where you play it’s all about getting minutes in the bank and getting yourself prepared for the start of the season.”

Meanwhile, Reserves manager Johnny Law has stepped up his preparations for next season by adding two new players to his squad.

“To date we have brought in two new faces,” said boss Law. “The first is Loughlin Toland, from Foyle Harps, a central midfielder who is currently in the Northern Ireland under-17 squad and the second is Johnny Stewart, a striker with a terrific goalscoring record for Portrush, who we feel is ready to make the step up.”

With Ollie Mullan and Damien McNamee involved with the Milk Cup, the Reserves Staff will be responsible for the Colts pre-season as well, with both squads resuming training on June 23.

Fitness coach Robbie Wilson has been brought in to assist with the strength and conditioning of all players at the club from reserve level down.

The Reserves have also arranged the following pre-season friendlies (all away from home).

Monday July 9 – Moyola Park Reserves; Saturday July 14 – Newton; Thursday July 17 – Portstewart; Saturday July 21 – Tobermore Reserves; Tuesday July 24 – Bushmills; Saturday July 28 – Ballymoney Utd; Saturday August 4 – Glebe Rangers.