Four senior Ballymena Unted players have agreed new one-year deals to stay at the Showgrounds.
Long-serving goalkeeper Dwayne Nelson, currently in his testimonial season at the club, has penned a new deal and will compete with summer signing Alan Blayney for the number one spot.
Further goalkeeping cover will be provided by youngster Macauley Cairns, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Dundela, and who will again go on loan to a Championship club to gain experience in the new season.
Winger Neal Gawley’s impressive season has earned him a new deal, while manager Glenn Ferguson has also shown faith in two players whose seasons were cut short by long-term injuries.
Defender Kyle McVey battled back from a broken leg in November to force his way back into the first team at the tail end of the season, while midfielder Gavin Taggart has been missing since November after suffering a collapsed lung.
Ferguson has continued to trim his squad with long-serving duo Aaron Stewart and Mark Surgenor among five players released last week.
Veteran goalkeeper Stuart Addis, winger Eamonn McAllister and back-up defender Aaron Harris have also been deemed surplus to requirements.
“It’s not an easy thing telling players that their futures lie elsewhere but it’s part and parcel of the job,” said Ferguson.
“We need to freshen things up because things didn’t change last season and we’re trying to bring in players who will make a difference.
“It’s been relatively quiet in the transfer market in general in the Irish League - even the top teams seem to be struggling to get players in so far.
“There aren’t too many quality players knocking about who are available so we will have to choose our signings carefully and also get the best out of the players we have,” added Ferguson.