Belfast Telegraph

Former Ballymena United favourite returns to Showgrounds for reunion with David Jeffrey

Albert Watson with David Jeffrey and Brian McLaughlin. Credit: Ballymena United.
Albert Watson with David Jeffrey and Brian McLaughlin. Credit: Ballymena United.

Former Ballymena United favourite Albert Watson has returned to the Showgrounds on transfer deadline day.

Watson has signed a deal until the end of the season, linking up with his former Linfield manager David Jeffrey.

He previously spent ten seasons at Ballymena, making 316 appearances and scoring ten goals.

After making his debut against Institute at the age of 16, Watson went on to become the club's youngest ever captain.

He departed in 2011 for Windsor Park, where he won back to back league and cup doubles.

Watson then headed for Canada alongside fellow blue Daryl Fordyce where they played for FC Edmonton in the North America Soccer League.

Jeffrey said he was delighted to be working with the big defender once again.

"Bryan and I are delighted to have signed Albert, bringing him home so to speak. In the first instance this is a short term contract to the end of the season when both Albert and ourselves will be able to review things," the Ballymena manager said.

"This is a set of circumstances where we all felt that it could be mutually beneficial, we have some big games coming up and in this part of the season we want to be as well equipped as possible.

"When Albert became available and expresses his desire to join us, it just made common sense. This it to the end of the season but who knows where it takes us from there. He is coming from full time football in Iceland and he is certainly up to speed fitness wise - his performance stats verify that he is in very good shape and we are very pleased that he has joined us."

Watson said he was delighted to "come home".

"Obviously with David, Bryan the club, I know the set up here inside out and we've always come back to watch games and we've been treated so well each time. To work with David again from my time at Linfield is a big attraction but it's about coming home to Ballymena United, I was here ten seasons and I still love the place and the great proper football people behind the club," he said.

"I have fond memories of playing here and playing in front of the Sky Blues and now coming back here we're sitting second in the league, in a cup final and the Irish Cup coming up this weekend, we have to believe that we can go on and win any trophy and that is why I am here."

Watson will wear the number 32 shirt for the remainder of the season.

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