Sean Graham returns deadline day return to Inver

Sep 1, 2023 | Club News, First Team

We are delighted to announce the signing of midfielder Sean Graham on a two-year deal from Ballymena United.

As part of the agreement, Isaac Westendorf will join the Sky Blues on a short-term loan deal running until January 2024.

The deadline day move will mark a return to the Invermen for Graham, who spent six months on loan at Inver Park during the 2019/20 season before returning to Blackpool FC in the January transfer window.

Then 19-years-old, the former Northern Ireland U21 international was recognised primarily as a left back, where he had played during his footballing education at Blackpool and under Tiernan Lynch.

Following his time at Blackpool, the now 22-year-old signed for Ballymena United during the 2020/21 season before moving stateside to play for Loyola Greyhounds. After returning to Northern Ireland, Graham once again signed for Ballymena United once again, transitioning from full back to defensive midfielder.

Speaking on the acquisition of Sean Graham, first team manager Tiernan Lynch said:

“I am really pleased to have Sean return to Inver Park, this time on a permanent basis. When Sean was here previously, his natural ability was obvious, and it was clear why he had been picked to go across the water by Blackpool.

“Since then, he has had time to go away and get more experience at first level with Ballymena and has added to his skillset and become more versatile, now being able to play in midfield as well as at full back.

“Sean is still a young player with his career fully ahead of him and returning to a professional playing environment will allow him to grow even more and fulfil the potential which we believe he has in abundance.

Discussing Isaac Westendorf’s loan deal, Lynch added:

“Isaac will spend six months at Ballymena United as part of the deal, which will allow him to gain more experience within the league and in senior football. We will monitor Isaac’s progress during this period, and the aim is for him to return to Inver Park in January.”

Upon signing for the club, Graham expressed his delight to be back at Inver Park:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be back at the club. It’s been a long few days but I’m glad everything has ran smoothly and the move has been confirmed. To be able to play professional football is something that every player wants to do and as soon as the chance arises, especially at a club like Larne you have to jump at it.

“Since I was last at the club, I have changed from a position point of view – I can play as a six or an eight in the midfield. One of my biggest strengths is now my versatility as I can also play left back, as well as any position that I’m called upon. I’ve gotten a lot of experience at Ballymena and in the Irish League in recent seasons which will stand me in good stead at Larne.

“Personally, I want to get as many appearances and minutes as I can this season and beyond, alongside winning more trophies as a team and continuing to bring success for the fans and the community.”

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