Ross Black is first Ballymena United arrival

Ross Black and Eamonn Murray
Ross Black (left) in action against Ballymena's Eamonn Murray at the Showgrounds

Ballymena United have completed the signing of left-sided Newry City player Ross Black on a two-year deal.

Black can play in defence or midfield and his arrival is likely to be the first of many at the Showgrounds.

Glenavon pair Willo McDonagh and James Costello are also believed to be in talks with the Warden Street club.

United have lost defender Albert Watson to Linfield while Lee Colligan and Eamonn Murray are heading to Australia, and Michael Smith's future is unclear.

Smith has been the subject of interest from Kilmarnock caretaker manager Kenny Shiels and league champions Linfield also spoke to the player in January.

Murray has agreed a contract with Ballymena in the event that he returns from Australia.

Sky Blues boss Roy Walker hopes to make a number of further signings in the coming weeks as he attempts to bolster a squad which also lost Nathan Hanley and Richard Gibson during the January transfer window.