COLERAINE boss Oran Kearney admitted he was “over the moon” after completing a deal to bring Portadown winger Jamie Tomelty to the Showgrounds.
Tomelty is expected to complete his move today after agreeing a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Bannsiders.
The 29-year-old former Dungannon Swifts and Linfield midfielder is expected to make his debut in the Irish Cup next week.
Kearney believes the winger will make a “big impression” at the Showgrounds.
“We have agreed terms and Jamie just has to finalise his release from Portadown now,” Kearney said.
“We are delighted to get him on board. He is technically very gifted and he is experienced in the Irish League.
“He will fit in perfectly with our style of football and he is just what we have been looking for.
“He suits Coleraine Football Club and we are over the moon that he has agreed this deal.”
Coleraine fended off a number of other Irish League clubs to secure Tomelty’s services – including derby rivals Ballymena United.
Tomelty joined Linfield from Dungannon Swifts in January 2009 before making the move to Shamrock Park in May 2011.
Twenty months on and the mercurial winger is heading to the North West to join resurgent Coleraine.
Bannsiders boss Kearney admits it is a new challenge for Tomelty – one that the player is relishing.
“Jamie had a good year last season, but this term he has had some injuries,” Kearney said.
“They haven’t been lower body injuries, but ones that have kept him out of the game for spells.
“It has been frustrating for him this season, but I know enough about Jamie from his time at Linfield to know he is a very positive addition to our squad.
“He is at a good age and is experienced, and he is a bubbly character which is good for the changing room.
“He is looking forward to it. He said Coleraine just felt right for him. He said he had a gut feeling about Coleraine, so we can’t wait to get him started.
“We won’t rush him. He won’t play against Linfield on Saturday, but he might get a run-out in the Irish Cup next week.
“He has had injuries this season and we don’t want to throw him in at the deep end straight away.
“So we will be patient and take things easy. We will try and get three or four good training sessions into him first.”
Kearney admits he will continue looking to bolster his squad during the transfer window.
He has already made public his interest in Donegal Celtic striker Mark Miskimmin.
“I know Mark well and he is someone we are interested in,” Kearney said.
“I have spoken to (DC boss) Packie McAllister to let him know of our interest. Mark has a year-and-a-half left on his contract so we just have to wait and see what Celtic want to do with him.”