Irish Premiership: Kyle Owens set to join Crues from Ballymena
Ballymena United defender Kyle Owens has signed a pre-contractual agreement to join Crusaders next season.
The 25-year-old, who will link up with his brother Jordan at Seaview, moved to Ballymena from Knockbreda in 2016.
"I spoke to Stephen Baxter and in all honesty told him he's getting one heck of a defender," said Sky Blues boss David Jeffrey.
"We want to thank Kyle for his time and effort here. We part on good terms with some fantastic moments and memories."
Owens started his career at Crusaders and has played for Carrick Rangers (loan) and Dundela.
"There has been lots of speculation around Kyle and so it's important that the facts are right at the start," Jeffrey told the club website.
"We spoke to Kyle about a new deal before Christmas, at which point we respected his wish to take time to consider his future and concentrate on his football until closer to the end of the season.
"Crusaders formally informed us that they wished to speak to Kyle and he informed us on Tuesday evening that he was meeting on Wednesday night to sign a contract for next season.
"We respect Kyle's decision that this is the right move for him at this time of the season and wish him well.
"Kyle has committed himself to doing his all for Ballymena United to the end of the season, and we have absolutely no reason to doubt him."