Willie Faulkner: Midfielder joins Carrick Rangers after being released by Ballymena
Newly-promoted Carrick Rangers have signed Willie Faulkner following his release from Ballymena United.
The 29-year-old is Rangers' first signing since they secured their return to the Irish Premiership with a play-off win over Ards.
Faulkner, who spent four seasons with the Sky Blues, will once again link up with Carrick boss Niall Currie, who signed him for Ards in 2013.
"I am over the moon to get William on board," said Currie.
"He played an integral role in helping Ballymena United become a real force. He is an outstanding footballer who, in my opinion, will add real quality to our young squad."
Currie added: "We know that we are in a small market for players but, for me, he fits exactly what we need to make us competitive in the forthcoming season.
"He is a game changer, but, most importantly, I know I am signing a player who will bring so much to our changing room with our young squad."
Faulkner spent two seasons at Ards before moving to Ballymena, where he won the League Cup and County Antrim Shield.
He was unable to earn a regular place in David Jeffrey's side last season and was not offered a new contract at the Showgrounds.
"I am delighted to be on board and I am looking forward to getting back to playing and enjoying my football again," he said.
"I have worked with Niall Currie before and he was a big factor for me when signing, as I know him very well and have a good relationship with him."