Oran Kearney returns to Coleraine Showgrounds this summer

Oran Kearney's St Mirren side will play Coleraine a friendly at the end of June
Oran Kearney's St Mirren side will play Coleraine a friendly at the end of June

Oran Kearney is heading back to Coleraine Showgrounds this summer for a friendly with his St Mirren side.

The Buddies will take on the Bannsiders on Saturday, June 29 as part of the deal that brought the manager to St Mirren last season. The match will kick-off at 3pm.

The Saints will also face Belfast club Rosario YFC at Ulidia Playing Fields on Friday, June 28, kick-off 7pm, as part of a new partnership.

Rosario, one of Northern Ireland’s biggest football clubs, has been a fixture in the Ballynafeigh area of south Belfast for over a century, with over 900 players now being fielded across 50 teams.

The new arrangements with St Mirren FC and recent move back into Ulidia mark the next phase of the club’s development.

Rosario YFC Chair Ciara Boyes said: “Rosario Football Club has been at the heart of the community on the Ormeau Road for generations, and welcomes members from many different backgrounds and nationalities, reflecting this wonderful multicultural area of Belfast.

“The partnership with St Mirren comes shortly after we moved back into the recently-renovated Ulidia Playing Fields, as we take this hugely successful club to the next level, and the friendly between the two clubs will celebrate this.”

“This gala match showcasing the two teams going head-to-head will be a great event for the local community and the club, and promises to be every football fan’s dream.”

Earlier this season Rosario YFC entered into discussions with St Mirren which were facilitated by Jed McCabe from sports tour providers inspiresport.

Jed McCabe from inspiresport said: “I am delighted to have introduced Rosario YFC to St Mirren FC as I see so many similarities between the two. They are both very family orientated and give young players their chance in the game. We offer development tours to some of the world’s top clubs and I can honestly say St Mirren FC are up there with the very best.”

The partnership between the two clubs will benefit both, with Rosario’s coaching programme being boosted by top level coaching sessions at the St Mirren FC Academy, involving organised trips for all age groups to visit the Gold Award Academy at St Mirren FC, tour the ground and play tournaments. Rosario YFC will also showcase any potential players to St Mirren FC ensure they get the best chance to start a career in football.

Inspiresport are now working with Rosario YFC to organise development tours to the likes of Valencia CF, FC Porto, St Mirren FC and other top level clubs to benefit young members of the club.

Rosario YFC wish to thank St Mirren FC, inspiresport and Belfast City Council for all the support they provide to Rosario YFC and its members.

Tony Fitzpatrick, St Mirren FC CEO, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our club to have a new partnership with Rosario YFC as like ourselves they work in conjunction with the local community. We have welcomed some of their teams over to our Gold Award Academy for a train and play programme recently.

We are absolutely delighted to be invited to play in this match. Who knows maybe one day a youth player from Rosario YFC will play for our first team.”

This match and community celebrations will take place on the 28 June at 7pm, with parking available at the nearby St Joseph’s College and Holy Rosary Church to limit traffic and parking disruption in the area around Ulidia.