COLERAINE manager Oran Kearney says the club did everything it could to convince goalkeeper Chris Johns to remain at The Showgrounds.
The 25-year-old has joined league champions Linfield on a two year deal following the expiry of his contract with the Bannsiders.
“We didn’t want to lose Chris and we wanted him to stay,” Oran told the Coleraine FC website.
“In lifestyle terms, with Chris living close to Windsor Park and just finishing his studies, as well as wanting to train full-time, it made it a hard sell for us.
“He leaves us on great terms and he will be the first to admit that he owes the club for nurturing his development, but in the same stretch we were blessed to have a solid number one who was ever present for four-and-a-half years.
“He will be severely missed and big boots to fill," added the Bannsiders' boss.
Signed from Bangor in Januar 2016, Chris Johns made 195 appearances for Coleraine, keeping 68 clean sheets in the process.
He helped the Bannsiders to Irish Cup and League Cup successes during his time on the Ballycastle Road, as well as featuring in the Europa League on three occasions.
Chris’ superb performances between the sticks saw him being nominated for the Ulster Footballer of the Year award in 2017/18 and he was named in the NIFWA Team of the Season in that same campaign.