Belfast Telegraph

Larne announce signing of veteran Irish League defender Albert Watson

Albert Watson has signed for Larne
Albert Watson has signed for Larne

Larne have announced the signing of experienced defender Albert Watson from Ballymena United for their first season back in the Danske Bank Premiership.

The 33-year-old has become the second player to agree the switch to Inver Park for next season after Mark Randall joined the club at the weekend.

Watson is no stranger to the Irish League having made his debut as a 16-year-old with Ballymena, while he also won two title medals with Linfield and spent the second half of last season on loan at Warden Street.

A well-travelled player, Watson has also had spells with FC Edmonton in Canada, as well as with Icelandic side KR Reykjavik.

"I had another year left on my contract at KR, but I was training at the end of 2018 with Larne, which Tiernan (Lynch, Larne manager) was good enough to let me do, and it started from there," said Watson.

"My wife didn’t really like life off the pitch when I was at KR and it came about that we decided to move home. My time at Ballymena showed me the level of the Irish League again and reminded me of how much I had missed it.

"We have a massive pre-season ahead here at Larne and there’s so much quality around the squad already and whatever the manager adds over the summer.

"It’s a step up from the Championship where the club has been, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. There’s no pressure on us, but you compete to win things and I know everyone will have that mindset."

Inver boss Lynch was delighted to secure the signing of Watson, adding: "With having Albert here to train with us either side of Christmas it gave us a good look his professionalism and it was superb.

"He was eager to push himself, improve himself and slotted in straight away – and that was even before he was a signed player. He’ll bring us that experience and leadership and maybe something that we were missing at times last season."

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