Captain Clarke is up for the challenge
Harry McConkey has today confirmed that he has agreed terms with Richard Clarke to remain a Ballinamallard player for the 2018/19 season.
Clarke was McConkey's Vice-Captain, but with James McKenna's retirement, the midfielder will role take on the role of Captain for the season ahead.
"To have Clarkie on board is a great boost for this club" commented a delighted McConkey. "Both Glentoran and Institute showed an interest in the player and held talks with him over the past 3 weeks but throughout Richard has remained a total professional. I know he will play a big part in helping to guide and support the younger players in our squad, but ultimately I want him to express himself on the pitch and enjoy his football, just as he did at the end of last season. I personally feel that Glentoran simply came after him simply because he was the best player on the pitch in our final match of the season. He proved in 8 games that he still has the quality to be an Irish Premiership player and his medals haul speaks for itself. We must utilise his qualities to the maximum in our team this season"
Speaking to the Club website, Richard was delighted to have finally come to a conclusion on his future. "I have held discussions and talks with a few clubs and I thank Harry and Ballinamallard for allowing me to do that. Throughout I always felt a draw to continue working with Harry and I enivitably found it difficult to ignore".
"I am privileged to be taking over as Captain and I know I've huge boots to fill in replacing James McKenna, who in my opinion is one of the best leaders that I have played under. It will be honour to Captain Ballinamallard United Football Club".
"There has been a big turnover in players but Harry has recruited well and is continuing to work hard behind the scenes. It's going to be an extremely competitive league this season with the likes of Portadown and Larne investing heavily to gain promotion but we have a challenge infront of us and I know we will embrace it. Pre-season can't come quick enough and I can't wait to get started!"