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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 June, 2004, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
McAuley eyes English move
Gareth McAuley of Coleraine
Coleraine's Gareth McAuley has won 'B' international honours
Coleraine defender Gareth McAuley is hoping to kick-off the new season playing full-time football in England.

The highly-rated 24-year-old has been offered a trial at Second Division Stockport County by former Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy.

Lincoln City have also taken an interest in the tall central defender who joined Coleraine from Crusaders in June 2002.

McAuley said he was keen to move into the full-time game.

"I would like the chance to move cross-channel before it is too late," said the Larne-based player.

McAuley played for Northern Ireland at 'B' international level against Scotland last season.

He earned rave reviews, reportedly sparking interest from Preston North End and Northampton Town.

McAuley's departure would be another blow for Coleraine manager Marty Quinn following striker Rory Hamill's move to Ballymena United.

"I would hate to lose a player of Gareth's ability but I would not stand in his way if he had the opportunity to showcase himself in the full-time game," said the Bannsiders boss.

Hamill opts for Ballymena
28 May 04  |  Irish

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