Lee Bonis’ Larne transfer from Portadown offers ‘something totally different’

Larne manager Tiernan Lynch celebrated the capture of Lee Bonis as a player who ‘brings us something totally different’ following confirmation of a transfer that is expected to secure Portadown a six-figure cash windfall.

The 22-year-old arrives at Inver Park from hometown club Portadown following increased speculation over the past week in which Larne finally edged home ahead of Glentoran in the race for Bonis’ signature.

Described by Larne as ‘an undisclosed fee’, sources support reports around the £100,000 valuation Portadown placed on Bonis.

It is understood the final figure falls short of the summer Irish League record fee paid by the Glens to Ballymena United for Shay McCartan - but the move on a ‘long-term contract’ marks a significant statement of intent by Larne.

Larne have signed Lee Bonis from Portadown. Pic by Jamie Brennan.

“The big thing with Lee is we see real longevity in his potential,” said Lynch on the official Larne website. “He’s a young lad who, at 22 years of age, has already got good experience under his belt and he will be coming into a full-time environment which we feel can only benefit him further.

“He will be working on his football every day and there is all the stuff off the pitch, like his diet, nutrition and conditioning which can help progress.

“Lee brings us something totally different to what we already have at the club.

“We are extremely blessed to have the likes of Ronan Hale and Davy McDaid already here.

“So this isn’t about replacing the quality we already have, it’s about giving us a different dimension and with Lee’s physical presence and all around game that is what we are getting.

“It’s all about Lee coming in, settling into the group and adding to what we have at Inver Park and I’m delighted to have him on board.”

Bonis helped the club secure Championship promotion and Premiership safety with 38 goals in 87 appearances for the Ports.

The Bonis deal includes a loan move to Portadown by Larne teenager Matty Lusty for the rest of the season.

“Matty has been superb for us over the last year and a half and he’s at stage of his development where he needs more taste of senior football,” said Lynch. “He knows exactly how highly we think of this and hopefully this short loan spell will be a big benefit for him and Portadown as well.

“We’re already looking forward to having him back and involved with us from this summer.”


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