Ballymoney return to The Showgrounds

Ballymoney United are returning to their former home of The Showgrounds as they prepare for next season in the Northern Ireland Intermediate League.

Chairman Noel Lamont explained the club’s decision: “We made the decision based on a few reasons. One being finanncial. In the N.I. Intermediate league we done have as many criteria to adhere to as in Championhip 2 and it made sense to go back to The Showgrounds.

“A lot of very people are extremely happy about it and we are hoping with the closeness of the ground to the town that more people will come along and support the lads.

“The aim is to bounce back up to Championship 2 but if we do then we will have to return to the Riada Stadium.

“We see the return to The Showgrounds and the Northern Ireland Intermediate league as a new start. That’s the league and ground we were in in 1981/82 when we won all our trophies and so we see it as a good place to start our fight back to Championship football.”

Manager Peter Cairns backed the club’s decision to return to The Showgrounds. “At the end of the season we sat down and talked about things. I left it up to the club to make the decision which league we played in and I’m more than happy with the choice. I think the decision to go back to the Showgrounds is the right thing for the club if they can get work done and make it what it should be as we move forward.

“The important thing is that we all need to move forward. Last season just wasn’t good enough. Ballymoney United has a lot of players coming through which is really positive.

“I’m planning on starting back in the next week or two and having discussions with some players with a view to pre-season training getting underway in the last week of June, first week of July.

“We decided to take a complete break away from football for a few weeks after last season so we are ready to come back refreshed and ready to push forward.”