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Irish FA grants extension of 2019-20 Irish League season until 31 July

Francis Nolan pens new deal, Ben McCauley returns
Uploaded Thursday, 16th Aug, 2018 at 20:56

BALLYMENA United are delighted to announce that Francis Nolan has signed a professional contract, and also welcome back goalkeeper Ben McCauley to the Sky Blues.
Bryan McLoughlin, Francis Nolan & David Jeffrey
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Nolan, 18, pens a two year deal that will see him contracted to the club until the end of the 2019/20 season. Whilst 20 year old McCauley returns to the club where he made his debut as a teenager in a 4-1 League Cup victory over Linfield.
Manager David Jeffrey was delighted to tie up both pieces of work before the end of the window, "Francis is a precocious talent. We promised him an opportunity during pre-season and anyone who saw him during our friendly matches can only agree that he took that opportunity and deserves to be in the first team squad. He is a young man who is technically brilliant, a real eye for goal and he is learning to work hard consistently throughout a game in all areas of the pitch. More importantly, he is a young man who just wants to be at Ballymena United because he knows he will get the opportunity and he believes in what we are doing here.
I have to pay special thanks to Paul Harbinson and Gareth Moody with regard to Francis returning to the club and his development and promotion through the ranks."
"We also welcome back Ben McCauley. Ironically last year we released him to go to HW Welders for his own benefit - almost immediately Conor Brennan received an opportunity to return to Scotland for full time football. Ben's move was the right thing for him at that time but meant that we left ourselves short in that position, so we brought young Thomas McDermott in to the end of last season. He has since proved his worth and signed an extended contract, but with regards to Ben we now very much want him to be a part of creating that competition for places that we like to have in all positions. All three goalkeepers are very aware that we are not naming a number one, two and three - there is only one starting jersey and all three are fighting for that. Supporters will clearly remember Ben making his debut in a victory over Linfield here at the Showgrounds, so we know his pedigree and credentials. His time with the Welders has benefitted him greatly and so we look forward to further development and competition among all three goalkeepers."
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