Belfast Telegraph

Ballinamallard United join race for Ivan Sproule signature

By Stuart McKinley

Ballinamallard United manager Whitey Anderson is weighing up an ambitious double swoop ahead of the January transfer window.

A deal to take Glentoran midfielder Richard Clarke to Ferney Park could finally be completed next month, a year after the Mallards initially tried to sign him.

Anderson could, however, top that by making former Northern Ireland international Ivan Sproule the biggest signing in the club's history.

The 32-year-old is due to return home to Castlederg before Christmas after severing his ties with Scottish Premier League club Ross County last week and the chase is on to sign him.

Sproule is now a free agent and Anderson is ready to offer him the chance to play close to home, but he will face stiff competition to land the former Hibernian winger.

Derry City's new manager Roddy Collins is understood to have already spoken to Sproule with a view to taking him to the Brandywell.

The Candystripes could offer full-time football and it may then be down to the player to decide if that is the route he wants to go down or if he is happy to settle for playing part-time nearer to home.

Linfield, who tried to sign Sproule in the past when he was with Hibs, are also expected to be in the running for his signature.

Sproule won 11 international caps after making his debut in the famous 1-0 win over England in September 2005, less than a fortnight after he scored a hat-trick against Rangers at Ibrox.

Clarke, also from Castlederg is expected to leave The Oval when his contract at the end of the season anyway, but he could be allowed to leave early and the Mallards are favourites to sign him.

Belfast Telegraph


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