Declan Carville: Ballymena recruit midfielder from Newry City for next season

Carville played for Orchard City, Bessbrook United and Rathfriland Rangers before joining Newry
Carville has already passed his medical with Ballymena United

Ballymena United have signed midfielder Declan Carville for next season.

The 29-year-old will leave relegated Newry City to move to the Ballymena Showgrounds on a two-year contract.

Carville, who can also play in attack, cited the opportunity to work under Sky Blues' boss David Jeffrey as one of the reasons for his decision.

"David as manager is a massive attraction to come here - he's the most decorated manager in the league," said Carville.

"I had a good chat with him, Bryan and Paul and was very happy with what they had to say. The expectation is that this club is to go and win a league, and there's nothing less that we can do but to set out to achieve that.

"I've played in the middle and upfront, but ultimately I'll play where I'm told and will do a job to the best of my ability."

Jeffrey revealed that Ballymena had made an approach for Carville during the January transfer window but the player turned down the chance to join a title-challenging club to try and help Newry to avoid relegation.

"In the games against Newry this year he was the stand out player for a number of key reasons - his ability on the ball, physical strength, vision and flexibility of position as he can play up front and in the middle of the park," Jeffrey explained.

"We submitted a request to speak with Declan in January, but at that stage, to his credit, he didn't wish to leave Newry with whom he had been on an incredible four year journey, being an integral part of their rise and promotion to the Premiership.

"We respected his decision and we agreed to see how things panned out and revisit at the end of the season. When that came around, we spoke to Declan again and negotiations were completed quickly and promptly."