Captain James McKenna has decided to hang the boots up after a successful career spanning Junior, Intermediate and Senior football. The 33 year old suffered a Collar Bone break twice within six months but fought back to fitness to finish the season wearing the Captain's armband and has now decided that the time is right to finish his career.
Having enjoyed a successful spell with Enniskillen Town, McKenna signed back to Ballinamallard in the summer of 2008, having previously been a youth player at the Club. Under the stewardship of Whitey Anderson, he was a key component of the team throughout the years in the Championship One division and a became a fearsome competitor in the middle of the park for the Blues.
In our Championship winning year he made 25 appearances from a possible 32, and as Premier League player for Ballinamallard he made 123 appearances and scored 11 goals, and was awarded the Manager Player of the Year in 2015/16.
Never one to shirk a challenge, McKenna leadership and determination qualities are to be admired across a span of 10 years with Ballinamallard United FC.
Speaking earlier today, James was thankful to all the Club. "I've had a fantastic 10 years at Ballinamallard and I can't thank everyone enough for making me feel so welcome. I am sad to be leaving the Club but my support for the Mallards will not diminish and under Harry's leadership I truly believe that we will be back in the Premiership very soon".
Upon his retirement Harry McConkey commented, "James has been a wonderful servant to BUFC and he can be proud of the distinguished career he has enjoyed. He can be proud of what he has achieved both personally and in his contribution to the team. We are sad to see him leave but must respect his wishes and wish him good fortune for the future".
We pass on our thanks to James for his effort, time and commitment over a 10 year period and hope that he won't be a stranger to Ferney Park in the future.
We will be announcing our new Captain for the 2018/19 season later, so stay tuned!