Bradord (Park Avenue) AFC have completed the signing of midfielder Ben McKenna from league rivals Curzon Ashton.
The 25-year-old returns for his second spell at the Horsfall Stadium, having spent three months with the club during the 2016/17 season. Alex Meechan, who is now the manager of the club’s academy, brought McKenna to Bradford from Stalybridge Celtic in July 2016. However, after 21 appearances, Southport swooped to take him to Merseyside.
He began his career with hometown club Burnley before being released in 2009, when he made the switch to Carlisle United. After starring for the club’s youth and reserve sides, McKenna was promoted to the first-team at Brunton Park and made two senior appearances. During his time with Carlisle, he earned call-ups to the Northern Ireland under-17, under-18 and under-19 sides.
After a loan spell with Annan Athletic in Scotland, he was released by Carlisle and dropped into non-league with Workington Town. His scintillating form with the Reds saw him make the switch to Stalybridge Celtic, where he made 76 appearances before linking up with the management team of Meechan and Matt Hill in Bradford. He also spent time on loan with Ashton United during his spell with the Celts.
He made 21 appearances for Southport after leaving West Yorkshire, before signing for Stockport County. Curzon Ashton manager John Flanagan then moved to secure McKenna’s services, snapping him up from their National League North rivals in February 2018.
McKenna is a cultured midfielder who will bring width and energy to Mark Bower’s side, as well as an injection of pace. Primarily a right-sided midfielder, he will help fill the void left by Wayne Brooksby’s departure and will be available for Avenue’s first pre-season friendly against Silsden on 5th July.
He becomes the tenth confirmed member of the 2018/19 squad.