Players head out on loan

Ballyclare boss Clifford Adams. Mervyn McClelland/Presseye
Ballyclare boss Clifford Adams. Mervyn McClelland/Presseye

Three promising young Ballyclare Comrades players who starred last season with the Reserves in the Championship Development League, will be moving out of Dixon Park on loan.

Following consultations with manager Clifford Adams they agree that their best options for furthering their careers will be found in playing adult football, instead of continuing under the NIFL Under 20’s set-up.

Winger Kyle Robinson and midfielder Michael Haskins will link up with Moyola Park in the Intermediate League, while defender Kyle McCauley, a student at Ulster University in Coleraine, will be operating in the same league, having opted for nearby recently promoted Portstewart.

“There is a massive difference between the Championship and the Under 20 Development League,” stated Adams. “So while we value these three lads greatly, they need a season at adult level before being considered for the Comrades senior side. I have discussed this with the players and I am pleased to have arranged loan facilities with Moyola and Portstewart, on the understanding that they will return to Ballyclare for the start of the 2018-19 season.

“These lads have progressed well with the Reserves under manager Kingsley Burrows, and I will be monitoring their progress at their new clubs with great interest,” he added.

Burrows will have further selection headaches as he prepares for the new campaign with his squad being decimated by the loss of several more players.

Midfielder Ryan McIlwaine has been snapped up for Ballynure OB by manager Stephen Herron, while goalkeeper Ross McKnight will be off to university in England, and apparently striker Scott Cummings is also on the move.

“It’s a fact of life that there will be a major turnover of players at the end of each season,” confirmed Burrows. “The aim of the Reserves is to find and nurture talent for Ballyclare Comrades, so we will be looking forward to promoting promising players from our younger teams to keep the conveyor belt well stocked.

“We’ve just had a brilliant season, and I am delighted that three lads have gone out on loan to advance their careers, and I wish them well,” he added.

Meanwhile central defender Michael Tolan has moved to Larne, as a direct replacement for Chrissy Rodgers who has moved in the opposite direction, and Comrades’ fans are hoping that they have got the better part of the swap.

All at Dixon Park mourn the passing of Bobby Guiney who has been a keen Reds supporter from his boyhood days. Despite living in Holywood for many years he seldom missed a match, home or away, until last season, so chairman Trevor McCann expresses sympathy to the Guiney family circle on behalf of all associated with Ballyclare Comrades FC.