Player of the season moves on as youth international comes in

Tuda Murphy was Towns Player of the Season. INBL1619-226EB
Tuda Murphy was Towns Player of the Season. INBL1619-226EB

Banbridge Town will go into the season without last year’s star man.

Tuda Murphy won a clean sweep of the club’s Player of the Season awards but, as has been rumoured since the end of the campaign, the former Cayman Islands international has left the club.

New manager Stuart King had been hoping the 35 year-old former Glenavon and Portadown man could be convinced to stay at the club but shortly after his departure was confirmed, King moved swiftly to sign two keepers.

Rejoining the club is Stephen Cairnduff and also arriving at Crystal Park is highly rated teenage goalkeeper Andrew Cullen.

The Lurgan lad came through Glenavon’s Academy before transferring to Lurgan Celtic and now making the move to Town.

He has little senior experience but is a Northern Ireland youth international and is part of the IFA’s U18 Development Squad.

Cullen also featured for Glenavon’s first team in pre-season friendlies, including against Everton U21s.

“He comes in highly recommended and he’s done very well since he’s been down training with us,” said Town boss King.

“He’s a very good prospect. I spoke to Michael Dougherty, who works with the keepers at the IFA, and he spoke very highly of Andrew. He’s about six foot three so he has a good presence as a goalkeeper.”

Meanwhile, King did stress that Tuda Murphy would be welcome to return to Banbridge Town.

“Tuda made up his mind that he couldn’t commit so I had to sign two keepers. The door is always open for Tuda if he wants to come back or even if he wants to come in and do a bit of coaching at the club.”