United sign Celtic's Ben Wylie on loan

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

BALLYMENA United have signed teenage midfielder Ben Wylie on loan from Celtic until the end of the season.

Sky Blues boss David Jeffrey is delighted at getting the 18-year-old.

“There were other options available to him and plenty of interest in him,” Jeffrey told the Ballymena United website.

“But we said how we would look after him and develop his game further; it is well evidenced how we are prepared to give the young players an opportunity here, and he himself is an outstanding talent and to get someone of his ability is fantastic.”

Jeffrey said teen Wylie is “a superb young man and we are so pleased to have him.”

The United manager thanked Chris McCart (Head of Celtic Youth Academy), Celtic and his agent Brian Adair for “making this happen for Ben to come here.”

Jeffrey said they “trust that his time here will be mutually beneficial, that he will enjoy getting back into training and football and hopefully we as his home town can reap the benefits of that this season.”

Recently teenager Ben put pen-to-paper on a new deal with parent club Celtic that will run until 2022.

Wylie was a major contributor to County Antrim's SuperCupNI success in 2017 as he captained the side to an impressive victory over GPS Bayern in the final.

The midfielder impressed numerous clubs across the water, and signed his first professional contract in June 2018 for Celtic FC.

Wylie has also starred for Northern Ireland at youth level playing at Under 15, 17 and 19 level.

Ben's father Keith also played for Ballymena United first team as a young left back.

He also captained the Reserves side to Steel & Sons Cup success.

“Obviously people are familiar with Ben. Just like Trai Hume, he's a Ballymena lad who started here and moved to Linfield before progressing to a professional move across to Celtic where he is highly valued by all their coaching staff,” said Jeffrey on the United website.

“Through our contacts we were made aware that it may be possible for Ben to come home and spend some time here.”

Wylie will wear the number 28 on his shirt.

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