Glenn Ferguson has challenged Michael Smith to make the most of his second chance in the Danske Bank Irish Premiership.
Smith joined United from Larne last week and made his first appearance as a substitute in last night’s 1-0 win over Carrick.
The Dunloy-based player returns for a second stint at the Showgrounds, having previously made seven appearances during Roy Walker’s time in charge.
Smith dropped out of senior football and had spells with Newington YC and Harryville Homers before rebuilding his Irish League career at Inver Park.
“Michael can play left-back or wide left so he offers us options on that side of the pitch,” said United boss Glenn Ferguson.
“Generally speaking, good quality left-sided players are hard to come across so we’re looking forward to seeing what Michael can do.
“We know that David Cushley will be leaving in the summer so that is one area of the team that we will have to address.
“Michael is three or four years older and more experienced now than when he was at Ballymena before - the opportunity is there for him and it’s up to him to grasp it,” said Ferguson.
Smith becomes the manager’s second signing of the January transfer window after re-signing defender Caolan Loughran after a spell in America.