IRISH LEAGUE: Ballymena United sign defender Johnny Flynn

Johnny Flynn has returned to Ballymena United for a second spell. Picture: Pacemaker Press.
Johnny Flynn has returned to Ballymena United for a second spell. Picture: Pacemaker Press.

Ballymena United have completed the signing of former Blackburn Rovers and Falkirk defender Johnny Flynn.

The 26-year-old central defender has returned to the Showgrounds for a second spell following his release from Cliftonville.

Flynn made an extraordinary introduction to Irish League football as an 18-year-old at Ballymena, making just 13 first team appearances before earning a transfer to Blackburn Rovers.

Although he didn’t make a first team appearance at Ewood Park, he had a loan spell in the Football League with Accrington Stanley before moving to Scotland with Ross County and Falkirk, from where he eventually returned to Northern Ireland with then champions Cliftonville.

United manager David Jeffrey told the club website: “We knew Johnny’s contract was up at the end of this season and so we advised Cliftonville of our intentions and followed this up by speaking to Johnny.

“He is well aware of the set up at the Showgrounds having been here as a young player before heading across the water and to be honest, when we sat down a few weeks ago to discuss a move, he got what we are trying to do here and wanted to be a part of it.

“Although we agreed terms there and then we wanted to be fair given that Cliftonville still had the Europa play offs coming up and so we did not release this information out of respect for club and player.

“Now that this season has concluded, I am delighted to finally be able to say that Johnny will be a Sky Blue again next season and we expect he will bring in the experience he has gained during his seasons across the water,” added Jeffrey.

Flynn becomes the third new arrival at the Showgrounds in the close season, following the signings of Kyle Owens and Cathair Friel.