Ballyclare Comrades manager David Dorrian is delighted to have landed PSNI ace midfielder John-Brendan Dobbin, but finds himself a player down overall.
The loss of two of the club’s top defenders, Andrew Doyle and Kyle Buckley, weakens the defence, but steps are afoot to plug the gaps.
Commenting on his most recent acquisition, 24-year-old Dobbin, manager Dorrian offered: “I have known JB since my days at Ballymena; he was regarded as one of PSNI’s top players last season and is part of the current Regions’ Cup squad. He has also gained Northern Ireland junior international honours, and I regard his decision to join us a massive boost.”
PSNI manager, Jamesy Kirk, gave JB a fine send-off to his hometown club. “JB is a talented footballer who works tirelessly in midfield. He has a good pedigree, and I am very sorry to lose him, but he will be a big asset to the Comrades, and I wish him every success,” he said.
On the debit side the Reds have lost Doyle and Buckley who have linked up with Carrick Rangers and Ards respectively.
During two spells at Dixon Park, Doyle chalked up 72 appearances, scoring six goals, and he moves up directly to the Premiership with newly-promoted Carrick.
Buckley is arguably the best left-back in Championship 1, and he may ultimately end up in the top tier after joining Ards, who just missed out on promotion.
Manager Niall Currie has been a long-time admirer of the Ballymoney defender and now that he has got his man.
During his three seasons at Dixon Park, Kyle recorded 92 appearances and scored three goals.
“I am sorry to lose players, and I wish them well, but I am happy to have players who want to wear Comrades’ colours with pride, and I am confident the newcomers will do that,” he saidd.
“Samuel McIlveen is a good example; he could have gone back to Glenavon, but he wants to play for us, and that is the type of player I admire,” he added.
Dorrian is delighted to learn that two of the club’s promising young players have won honours at Ballymena and Provincial League Division 1 level, with striker Mark Conn voted Player of the Year, while midfielder Craig Todd has collected the Young Player of the Year award.
Meanwhile, the Comrades are on the hunt for an U19s boss in the NI Youth League Section A. Contact David Dorrian on: 07746 807120.