Mallard supporters will be thrilled to hear that Ryan Mayse and Darragh McBrien have both committed to Ballinamallard despite interest from Premier League Clubs.
Mayse, who joined in January on loan from Ballymena, has now made his move permanent but is currently recovering from a hamstring injury he picked up in a friendly against Enniskillen Rangers.
Academy product McBrien burst onto the scene with a number of impressive performances, but his School Gaelic commitments limited his playing time last season. The talented youngster will be hoping to make a big impact this term.
It has been a productive week for Harry McConkey and the capture of these two has been a big boost. "Despite interest from Carrick Rangers I am delighted that Ryan has decided to stay at Ballinamallard. I know the backroom staff, players and supporters are glad that he will be back in the fold because a fit Ryan Mayse in our front line will be a major problem for our opposition. Ryan felt that he was only getting back up to speed when COVID hit and he wants to make a real go of it this season and we certainly look forward to witnessing that".
However 'Maysie' may well have to fight for his place in that front line after the eye catching performances of Darragh McBrien in recent pre-season friendlies. In fact Darragh played so well on Saturday past that he caught the eye of Cliftonville manager Paddy McLaughlin, who wanted to add another Mallard to his squad.
"Paddy called me after the game seeking permission to speak with Darragh which we of course granted. Paddy was extremely keen to get his signature and did all he could to entice him to Solitude, however after I had a discussion with Darragh and his father Vincent, he confirmed that he felt the Mallards was the right place for him at this time" commented McConkey.
"Darragh is a young player learning his trade and he needs minutes on the pitch to help him develop. He is excited about the challenge ahead this season and feels that Ferney Park is the best place to help him achieve that. It is no surprise to me that he has attracted attention from elsewhere as he is a wonderful athlete and a real game changer. His pace and execution of a finish are of a very high standard and we know yet again he will have our supporters on the edge of their seats"
"I thank both players for staying with us this season and we await the start of the season with anticipation!" concluded McConkey.