James McCollum has paid tribute to Lurgan after confirming he is to move from Pollock Park to Waringstown.
The 18-year-old, who has represented Ireland at every youth team level, says he has joined the villagers because he needs to be playing Premier League cricket.
Lurgan were relegated from the top flight in 2013 and McCollum explained that it was a tough decision to leave the club who helped foster and develop his talent over many years.
“Lurgan were very good to me, I thank everyone there for what they’ve done for my development as a cricketer,” he said. “I was faced with a decision about whether to try and take my cricket to the next level and to do that I feel I need to be playing Premier League cricket.
“I thought Waringstown was the best place to do that. There are players there that I look up to and I hope to learn from them and develop my cricket alongside them. It’s a great club environment, with excellent facilities and a loyal group of supporters. It’s just a good place to play cricket.”
McCollum has been in the Ireland under-age set-ups since he was first selected for the national side’s under-13 team. He was picked for the under-19 side as a 16-year-old while in last season’s Premier League he underlined his talent with a superb half-century against North Down.
He added: “I’m really excited. I know most of the players at Waringstown, they’re a great bunch of lads and I know the cricket will be really competitive. The environment will hopefully put pressure on me and make me work harder to develop my cricketing skills.
“Last season I started off pretty well, I was averaging 30 odd until the end of June. I probably struggled a bit after that. The standard of cricket in the Premier League is so much better, there are far fewer bad balls and I didn’t score anywhere near the number of runs I should have. I feel I still have a lot to prove and hopefully playing at Waringstown will help me do that.”