After a three-week search, Ballinamallard United have appointed their new manager.

Former captain and assistant manager, Mark Stafford, has taken over at the Fermanagh club replacing Tommy Canning.

Mark has a long-standing association with the Ferney Park Club, he started with the Youth Section at the Mallards and has over 250 first-team appearances, plus a very successful six-year stint with Linfield.

A statement released by the club said: "Not many know Ballinamallard United Football Club better than ‘Staff’. He enjoys respect right throughout the club."

Following his appointment Mark said: “As everyone will know I have a close affinity with the Mallards. They provided me with the opportunity to progress my football career, I’m pleased to be back in the fold at Ferney and while management isn’t easy, everything in life has its challenges.

“I will give this challenging role the dedication it deserves, I look forward to being part of the Mallards family of players, management, officers, members, sponsors, volunteers and supporters.”

Ballinamallard United Chairman Tom Elliott said: “Mark Stafford needs no introduction to all at Ferney Park. He has been a dedicated and committed player and more recently coach, with a vast experience of the local game.

“We are delighted that Mark has taken on this role and look forward to him sharing his experience throughout the Club. I ask everyone around the Club and Community to give Mark their support in every way possible.”

Canning stepped down last month citing work and travel commitments.

Stafford was one of the first names linked with the vacant post and Canning himself said the defender was "more than capable" of taking over.

Stafford stepped in as caretaker boss last season when Harry McConkey left.