Crystal Palace trial for Ballymena United striker Matthew Shevlin as race for the teenager’s signature intensifies

Matthew Shevlin
Matthew Shevlin

Ballymena United teenager Matthew Shevlin is on his way to Barclays Premier League club Crystal Palace on a one-week trial.

The 16-year-old striker impressed once again on Saturday as the Sky Blues romped to a 6-1 win over Cliftonville at The Showgrounds.

Shevlin was watched by Scottish Premiership champions Celtic at the weekend, and is also on the radar of English Championship outfit Charlton Athletic.

He will spend the next five days with Crystal Palace as the race for the teenager’s signature intensifies.

Shevlin – an A-Level student at Ballymena Academy – emerged as a star of the future last season when he bagged a goal on his debut in a Premiership win over Ballinamallard United.

He has already scored four goals this campaign for the Braidmen.

Ballymena manager Glenn Ferguson believes Shevlin is ready to make the leap into full-time football across the water.

“If a young player has a knack of scoring goals and he also has a good work ethic, he can go to the top,” he said.

“What we like about him is the fact he never gives defenders a minute’s peace.

“He is a 16-year-old with pace and he puts defences under pressure. He has also benefited from playing alongside Matthew Tipton who is 35 and very experienced.”