Ronan McKinley excited for 'great opportunity' at Ballinamallard

BALLINAMALLARD United manager Harry McConkey is 'delighted' to secure the signing of former Republic of Ireland U18 midfielder Ronan McKinley from Derry City, a player he believes has 'great potential'.

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 1:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 1:36 pm
Former Derry City and Republic of Ireland underage midfielder Ronan McKinley has signed for Ballinamallard.

McConkey is hoping the 19-year-old Newtowncunningham native 'can become a central part of our push for the run-in of this season'.

The Mallards currently sit in second position in the Lough 41 Championship table and are pushing for promotion back to the Irish League top flight.

“I’m delighted to have agreed the signing of Ronan," said McConkey. "I realised his talent when he played for the Republic of Ireland against Belgium in the Under 17 European Championships.

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“He is a technically gifted, versatile midfielder that has great potential. I hope he can become a central part of our push for the run-in of this season.”

McKinley, who recently returned to represent Derry Reserves in the Ulster Senior League, sustained a cruciate injury in 2019 and has recovered from two operations on his knee. He reckons his move to the Fermanagh men provides a 'great opportunity' for him to get back to his best after three years of frustration.

"I had a bad knee injury in 2019 that required two operations and two-and-half years of rehabilitation," he said. "I have been back playing for Derry City Reserves and see joining Ballinamallard United as a great opportunity.

“From the first time I visited Ferney Park I was drawn to Harry’s (McConkey’s) outlook on the game, the style of football they played along with the welcome and overall Club atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to playing my part in the club’s progression.”