Shane McCabe committed to the Mallards cause

Shane McCabe is ready for a new challenge with Ballinamallard United
Shane McCabe is ready for a new challenge with Ballinamallard United

Shane McCabe insists he hasn’t taken an easy route back into Irish League football by signing for Ballinamallard United.

The midfielder is preparing for a new challenge in the Danske Bank Premiership – just two months after leaving Glenavon due to family and work commitments.

Mallards boss Whitey Anderson has turned to the experience of McCabe following the departures of Paul Stafford and David Kee to Linfield.

And the 33-year-old can’t wait to get started.

“I am delighted with the deal and excited by the new challenge,” McCabe said.

“People might think I have taken the easy option by signing for Ballinamallard. I live close to the club and logistically it suits me – but I am not here to make up the numbers.

“I left Glenavon early because I had a new job in Dublin, and I was moving into a new house. The pressure was becoming too much and I couldn’t commit the time I wanted to Glenavon.

“I spoke with Gary Hamilton and he understood that.

“If I can’t commit 100 per cent to something, then I won’t try and fool people.

“I am up for this new challenge with Ballinamallard and I am totally committed.”

McCabe hopes the Mallards can push on to the next level in the Premiership, despite the exit of influential pair Stafford and Kee.

“The first season the club did fantastically well in the Premiership. They had the shock factor because nobody knew anything about them,” McCabe added.

“I think that shock factor was gone the past two seasons and teams knew of their qualities. That’s why it has been tougher.

“But there is a good base here and there is a good squad. Obviously Davy Kee and Mark Stafford are two major losses for the club. They are quality players.

“But hopefully Whitey can get a couple more new faces in, and add some more experience.

“Hopefully I can help the younger players. I have experienced plenty of ups and downs in my career. I have won major silverware, and I have lost out in big cup finals.

“I have to use that experience and try and rub off on some of the younger lads.

“I am excited by the challenge and I can’t wait to get started. I am going to have a few weeks off and then get stuck in again.

“Next season is a big one for the club and I am looking forward to it.”