Surgenor not surprised at Showgrounds exit

Mark Surgenor in action against Dungannon Swifts in what proved to be his final appearance in a Ballymena United shirt. Picture: Press Eye.
Mark Surgenor in action against Dungannon Swifts in what proved to be his final appearance in a Ballymena United shirt. Picture: Press Eye.

Mark Surgenor says he wasn’t surprised by his exit from Ballymena United.

The versatile homegrown player was one of five United players whose contract wasn’t renewed, ending his six-year stint at the Showgrounds.

“Having read Spike’s comments over the last few weeks of the season, I had a fair idea - it wasn’t too hard to read between the lines and realise I was one of the players he was talking about,” Mark told Times Sport.

“Last year was a bad one for me in a football sense. I lost confidence and had only played about 10 or 15 games up until getting a wee run in the team near the end of the season and I just got the impression that I was only used as a last resort.

“But when I look back on it, I’ve done what a lot of football people in Ballymena would love to do - I played close to 200 games for my hometown club and I’ll always be proud of that.

“I had a lot of great times, the obvious one being winning the County Antrim Shield.

“I will really miss not being around a great bunch of guys and also the supporters, the vast majority of whom were brilliant with me.”

On his future plans, Mark said: “If you had asked me three months ago, I would have said I was heading for the golf course but, funnily enough, I’ve actually got a bit of hunger back for football since being released - maybe I feel that I’ve got a point to prove.

“I’m just going to take a bit of time to get my head around the fact that I won’t be playing for Ballymena again and then look at my options and work out what is best for me,” added Mark.