Paul McElroy back on track at Ballymena United

Paul McElroy has hit the ground running at Ballymena United - having taken a Crusaders exit in his stride.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 1:00 pm
Paul McElroy celebrates finding the net for Ballymena United. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

The 26-year-old playmaker was included as part of October’s transfer negotiations which saw Adam Lecky secure a Seaview switch.

It marked a Crusaders departure just over one year on from a move designed to establish McElroy as a leading creative force at a club in contention for major silverware.

McElroy both accepts the decision of Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter and admits a drive to achieve his in the colours of Ballymena.

“I had a call from Stephen to explain my minutes would be limited, in my first season I spent a lot of it coming off the bench and didn’t want more of the same,” said McElroy, who will be aiming to build on that bright start tonight at home to Carrick Rangers in a rearranged Danske Bank Premiership fixture. “Once I spoke to David Jeffrey it made my mind up about Ballymena, I felt I had something of a point to prove to people, although there are no hard feelings towards Crusaders and I respect it is Stephen’s call to make as a manager.

“But I feel I contributed at Crusaders even without playing as much as I would have liked, I think I finished with something like 21 appearances including five starts but five goals.

“I’m 26 now and have played in or around 150 games in the Irish League so can cope much better with situations like Crusaders.

“I know it’s nothing personal and now am just turning my focus to working hard at Ballymena and helping the club.

“I believe in my ability and so far it’s a good fit at Ballymena.

“Football can be fickle and very quickly someone else comes along and people forget about you, so I would never be happy just staying at Crusaders but not playing.

“I’m a player who needs regular gametime for that match sharpness.
“David is completely straight with the players and we know exactly where we stand, it’s the player’s jersey to lose so it’s all anyone can expect.

“It’s always positive to get goals early on at a new club and last year was a decent return at Crusaders under the circumstances, my final season at Dungannon was a personal record and now I’m on four goals in seven games for Ballymena.”