LOCAL footballer Stuart Dallas sealed a summer transfer to Brentford after a series of negotiations in London last week.
The talented winger, who currently plies his trade with Crusaders, is set to move to London in the summer after his contract expires at Seaview.
Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter had spotted the former Coagh United winger two years ago when he played against Crusaders in a cup fixture. Since his move to the Shore Road men his career has blossomed.
In his debut season at Crusaders he won both the Carling Player of the Year and the Young Player of the Year. He celebrated his stunning debut season with a call up to the Northern Ireland squad for the ill fated Carling Celtic Nations Cup. Following his call up to the international setup interest in the Cookstown youngster was considerable.
Blackpool registered their interest in the summer of 2011 but Dallas chose to stay on a Seaview and see out his contract.
The 20 year old will join up with Brentford for pre-season and will be managed by former Manchester City striker Uwe Rosler.
Dallas spoke to the Brentford FC website and admitted he was looking forward to making the step up to professional football
“It is a big decision to leave all your friends and family but it is something I have always wanted to do. I always wanted to be a professional footballer and Brentford have given me that chance and I hope I can repay them.”
Speaking this week, DUP Mid-Ulster MLA, Cllr Ian McCrea, was full of praise for the talented winger.
“I’ve watched Stuart play over the years, when he played for Coagh and was delighted for him when he made the move to Crusaders and now the step up to Brentford.
Stuart is a great talent and it came as no surprise to see him make his international debut last May, as well as winning both Young Player and Player of the Year.
I wish Stuart every success in the future and I have no doubt his achievements have brought a great sense of pride to his family as it has to all the people of Cookstown and across Mid Ulster.”