| 16.2°C Belfast

Banbridge hockey star Johnny McKee lands Bundesliga move



Johnny McKee

Johnny McKee

�INPHO/Bryan Keane

Johnny McKee

Banbridge and Ireland striker Johnny McKee has landed a dream move to Germany where he will play as a professional with leading Bundesliga club Crefelder HTC in the new season.

He won't be short of company from Northern Ireland in his new home near Dusseldorf as he will link up with no fewer than three compatriots in the squad.

Fellow internationals Callum and Michael Robson and Neal Glassey are also playing their hockey in Germany's top flight with Crefelder, who were in fourth position when the Bundesliga was halted prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.

McKee says he's looking forward to the challenge of taking part in one of Europe's top leagues, having spent most of his previous playing days at Bann since the age of nine, bar a short stint in Australia.

The 23-year-old enthused: "It's a very exciting opportunity for me and it has come at a good time as I recently completed a degree in finance at Queen's University.

"It will also be good to hear some local accents at Crefelder, so I should have little difficulty settling into my new club, who have the reputation of being very welcoming."

McKee has signed a one-year deal with the club and could stand to earn the equivalent of £15,000-£20,000 when 'in-kind' elements like free accommodation and transport are added on to his basic income.  

Bann will certainly miss him as he was the club's leading scorer last season with 17 goals to his credit even though the campaign was cut short.

Belfast Telegraph