Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena United announce the departures of Shevlin and Faulkner

Ballymena's Matthew Shevlin has opted to leave the club this summer (INPHO/Jonathan Porter)
Ballymena's Matthew Shevlin has opted to leave the club this summer (INPHO/Jonathan Porter)

Ballymena United have revealed that Matthew Shevlin and Willie Faulkner will both leave the club this summer.

The pair were out of contract at the Showgrounds and will not be returning for the new season for different reasons.

While there was the offer of a new deal on the table for Shevlin, he has opted to pursue other opportunities, while Faulkner was not offered a new contract.

Shevlin departs after two seasons on Warden Street where injuries curtailed what looked to be a very promising start with the Sky Blues.

Still only 20, the forward made 35 appearances for Ballymena in his time at the club, but has fallen down the pecking order due to the emergence of Adam Lecky.

"The reality is that Matthew would say his recent time here has been stop start, primarily through injury, and still being only 20 he felt at this stage that his career might be best server away from Ballymena at this time," explained manager David Jeffrey.

"He was clear that he wouldn't rule out a return in the future but at this moment it's in his best interest to make a break from the club.

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"Bryan (McLoughlin) and I are naturally very disappointed but we totally understand and respect his rationale and we wish him all the best in what lies ahead.

"He is a homegrown player that came from Carniny Youth and developed during his time here. He took time to thank us and the club, and he lost sleep over the decision, but reality is he feels now is the time to move on.

He leaves with our full understanding of his reading and rationale for his decision."

Meanwhile, Faulkner will also move on after four years with the club after his contract was not renewed by the coaching staff.

"Whilst he has had a frustrating time with injury, his contribution on and off the pitch has been significant," added Jeffrey of the 29-year-old.

"Ordinarily we would have wanted to retain his services but with the rules around the composition of the squad, as we stand at this moment in time players who are not home grown and not in contract find themselves in a difficult situation.

"It is sad for us that we are unable to offer him a contract, and he does leave us with our thanks and best wishes. He has been fully committed and professional and won't be short of offers."

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