Monkstown’s Johnny Black last night put pen to paper for Irish League champions Linfield.
The former Glentoran and Coleraine defender, who had been linked with Shamrock Rovers in the summmer, signed a one-year deal with the Blues - the club he supported as a boy.
Black, a left-back, won the Irish League title with the Glens in 2009, before making the move to play for Oran Kearney’s Bannsiders.
He told the club’s website: “It’s really great signing for Linfield, the biggest club in the country. I want to come here and win trophies and hopefully, I can help the club do that this year.
“There’s competition for every position here. Linfield have a very big squad but it’s good, as it keeps everybody on their toes. It’s what has made this club so successful over the years.”
He added: “I used to watch Linfield week in, week out and I remember sitting at Windsor hoping that maybe one day I could go out there and play for Linfield and to be honest, I just can’t wait to get out there and get the blue shirt on. It’s just great that I am now a Linfield player and I’m just really happy and proud to have signed for this great club.”
Blues manager David Jeffrey commented: “I’m delighted to welcome him on board. It’s been a strange turn of events. I actually thought Johnny had headed off to Australia and then I’d heard he hadn’t gone but was hoping to go to Shamrock Rovers.
“Then latterly, I heard from one of Johnny’s former teachers at Monkstown Community School that Johnny was still at home. We’ve known Johnny from when he played for Glentoran and more recently at Coleraine. We asked him what his plans were and what he hoped to do in the future.
“We invited him up to training and certainly in training, he showed great quality, not just defensively but of course with that superb left foot of his.
“We know that into the bargain, he grew up a Linfield supporter. Lots of players these days when they go to clubs talk about playing for their favourites when they were young but Johnny is vey much one of our own. He was a Blueman as a youngster.
“When we talked about the possibility of him coming here, he jumped at the chance and I’m delighted to say that we’ve signed him, initially on a one-year contract. He knows the level of competition that is here but he’s very much up for that challenge and up for that battle and certainly, we believe he has the ability, the commitment and the attitude to make a most significant contribution to our season.”