COLERAINE have completed the re-signing of Darren Boyce from Glentoran on a permanent deal.
The 26-year-old striker returns for a third spell at the club a year after leaving for The Oval.
Oran Kearney explained why bringing Boyce back to The Showgrounds was an easy decision for him.
“With Shane Jennings out injured until December, our number one priority all summer has been to sign another striker,” Kearney said. “We are trying to build a local side with local identity, so to have a player of Darren’s calibre on our doorstep it would be crazy not to want him back.
“The past is well documented, we all make mistakes. I’ve made plenty in my time, but I am only concerned with the future. As manager of Coleraine, I have to make decisions for the betterment of the club, especially in terms of the playing staff.
“I am not asking anyone else at the club to do anything differently. It is his job to grab the opportunity that he probably believed he would never see again and to earn the respect of the fans with his performances on the pitch, the same way any other new signing would.
“Darren’s goal record is up with the best in the league and it would be unprofessional of me not to want someone with those stats. I always remained on good terms with Darren and this makes a decision like this even easier. Goals win games and in my short time as manager I’ve learned that you can never have enough goalscorers in your squad.
“Last season was a tough one for Darren, yet he still weighed in with 13 goals in 25 starts. It would have been easy for him to sit on a big contract for the next two seasons, but he wants to play. He had other options and has taken a huge pay cut to come back to Coleraine and the decision was a very simple and quick one. It is easily the fastest deal that I’ve ever concluded.
“In Darren’s own words he is buzzing to be back. He is a bit behind having not had a full pre-season or many matches, but we won’t be long getting him up to speed.”
Boyce has been given squad number 19, the shirt he wore in his first full season as a Coleraine player in 2005/06.