Defender Matty Smyth admits that leaving Ballinamallard United to join Dungannon Swifts was a tough decision but the opportunity to play Premiership football again was too good for him to turn down at this stage of his career.

Smyth came up through the ranks at Ferney Park before joining Stevenage as a 16 year old. He returned to his home club though and has been a pillar at the heart of their defence in recent campaigns.

"It wasn't an easy decision to make," he said. "Ballinamallard is the club I came up through before I moved to England and then it was the club I came back to.

"Obviously, when we were relegated from the Premiership I wanted to stay and try and get the club back up and at one stage last year it looked as if we were going to do that but then it was taken out of our control.

"Now I think at this stage of my playing career I would like to get back playing at the highest level so I just thought this was the right time to do it, especially with the way things were this season," he said.

And he is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead with Dungannon.

"Dungannon are a good club and they always bring good players through and from what I've seen so far it is a young, exciting and energetic squad who like to play football the right way and that's the way I like to play as well. I'm looking forward to being a part of it," said Smyth, who hopes his experience of battles at the foot of the table with the Mallards will help a Dungannon side who sit second from bottom.

"When I was with Ballinamallard in the Premiership we were always in and around the bottom so I'm used to that and hopefully I can use the experience from previous years to gain a bit of momentum for Dungannon and try and climb up the table."

Smyth was named in the side that was due to start the game against Warrenpoint Town at the weekend before it was called off at the last minute but he is keen to get going when the league resumes after their circuit breaker.

"At Ballinamallard we had a few friendlies but it is not quite the same as the whole buzz around a matchday for a competitive match.

"I can't wait to get started. It has been a long time now and it has been frustrating having to stop when the restrictions came in so I'm looking forward to when we do get back to getting a good clear run at it," he commented.