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05 Jan 2022
© Ballyclare Comrades FC New Ballyclare Comrades signing Michael Smith

The first few days of the January transfer window has sparked a flurry activity amongst clubs in the Lough 41 Championship.

Ballyclare Comrades kicked things off on New Years' Day by unveiling the arrival of the experienced Michael Smith from Dundela. The 29-year-old frontman makes the switch from Wilgar Park but had spent the previous four seasons with Premiership side Carrick Rangers, and can also count Ballymena United and Larne amongst his former clubs.

Leaders Newry City also strengthened their options up front by bringing Lorcan Forde to The Showgrounds. Still only 22, the Newry native arrives at his hometown club from Loughgall but has picked up top flight experience from his time at Linfield, Dungannon Swifts and Warrenpoint Town.

Another move sees Callum Ferris join older brother Nathaniel at Loughgall. The Northern Ireland U21 international was most recently with Portadown but also spent time amongst the youth ranks at Middlesbrough.

Ballinamallard United have dipped into the League of Ireland to recruit Ronan McKinley from Derry City. The versatile 19-year-old is making his return from long term injury and will find a familiar face at Ferney Park in Sean McEvoy with whom he was in the Republic of Ireland squad for the Euro finals in 2019.

Meanwhile, Ards swooped to bring Ballyclare Comrades duo Joe Tully and Gary Donnelly to Clandeboye Park.