Ronan McKinley is looking to kickstart his career after agreeing a deal with Ballinamallard United.
The 19-year-old from Newtowncunningham has moved to the Irish League Championship outfit from Derry City.
A cruciate injury in 2019 sidelined McKinley until he made a recent return for Derry City Reserves in the Ulster Senior League.
“I see joining Ballinamallard United as a great opportunity,” McKinley said.
“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.”
McKinley was a regular in Republic of Ireland Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 squads and had been in the Under-18 panel until his injury.
Ballinamallard manager Harry McConkey said of McKinley’s addition “I’m delighted to have agreed the signing of Ronan.
“I realised his talent when he played for the Republic of Ireland against Belgium in the Under 17 European Championships.
“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.”
Ballinamallard are second in the Championship, six points off Newry City, after a 5-0 win over Queen’s at Ferney Park on Saturday.
Former Finn Harps striker BJ Banda has been in flying form this season for the Mallards, scoring 16 times so far.
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