With a new season well underway across the Premiership and Championship, we take a look at how the players who have made temporary moves away from Inver Park are getting on.
Ben Walker, Sean Brown and Ali Omar (Bangor):
After graduating the club’s Scholarship Programme this summer and signing their first professional contracts with the Inver Reds, both Ben Walker and Sean Brown agreed to spend the season with the Seasiders to gain more first-team and senior experience.
Both players have played a huge role in Bangor’s impressive start to the Championship season, with both having made six appearances each so far. An impressive 1-0 victory at Shamrock Park at the end of August and victories against Ards and Ballinamallard United see Bangor sit 4th in the table at this early stage.
Ali Omar joined the Seasiders on a short-term loan deal on deadline day at the start of the month to find more regular game time as part of his recovery. Due to an injury that the defender was carrying before the move, Omar has yet to make his debut for the club.
Ethan Simpson (Ballyclare Comrades):
Just like Ben and Sean, Ethan also graduated the club’s Scholarship Programme this summer and signed his first professional contract with Tiernan Lynch’s squad. Ethan joined neighbours Ballyclare Comrades on loan for the duration of the season in July and even featured for the Comrades in a pre-season friendly against his parent club at Dixon Park.
Since the start of the Playr-Fit Championship campaign, Simpson has been hampered by injury, making just one substitute appearance so far this season. Ethan will be hoping to kick on at Dixon Park and feature more as the season progresses.
Ballyclare have started the season reasonably well, currently sitting in 7th place in the table with ten points.
Isaac Westendorf (Ballymena United):
After joining the Inver Reds back in July, the former Newcastle striker joined Ballymena United in the search for more regular first team football on deadline day at the start of the month.
Westendorf has started in fine form for the Sky Blues, netting two goals in his first two appearances for the club. Westendorf came off the bench in Ballymena’s 4-3 defeat to Knockbreda in the Co. Antrim Shield last week and got on the scoresheet, but it wasn’t enough to see them into the next round.
The striker was then named in the Sky Blues starting line-up for the Sports Direct Premiership game away to Carrick Rangers at the weekend. Westendorf made his presence known to win a penalty, which he then cooly tucked away for his second goal in as many games. The goal would be enough to see out a win for the Sky Blues, their first of the season.