Ballymena United have confirmed the signing of striker, Joe McCready from Institute on a two and a half year deal.
McCready moves for an undisclosed fee and his departure will be a major blow for Sean Connor's struggling side who slipped to the bottom of the Danske Bank Premier on Saturday following a 2-0 defeat by Dungannon Swifts.
The 29-years-old former Coleraine, Limavady United and Dungannon Swifts front man was Stute's leading goalscorer this season, netting eight of Stute's 20 league goals goals, a tally that included one against Ballymena in a 1-1 draw back in November, form which caught the attention of Sky Blues' boss David Jeffrey who was delighted to secure McCready's signature after revealing he had been tracking the player for some time.
"We're pleased to be able to announce that Joseph has agreed terms to join the club following positive negotiations with Institute FC," said Jeffrey in a United club statement.
"He is a player who we have been looking at for some time, but particularly over the last 18 months. His performances have impressed us, with both Paul McAreavey and Joe McCall having watched him closely.
"We followed the proper processes and submitted a request to Institute to meet with him and we were able to come to an agreement to bring him to the Showgrounds now. We are absolutely delighted and very much look forward to working with him."
Meanwhile Institute thanked McCready for his service.
"Institute Football Club can confirm that Joe McCready has signed for Ballymena United. The Board would like to thank Joe for his contribution and commitment to Institute and we wish Joe every success as he continues on his football journey," read a club statement.