LIAM MCHALE (41) is expected to sensationally come out of retirement this coming weekend in an effort to held Team Merry Monk Ballina win the Superleague title.
Ballina coach Terry Kennedy coaxed the former Irish basketball international out of retirement early this week after his squad was hit hard by injuries.
Merry Monk face into two make-or-break home games this weekend against Shamrock Rovers Hoops on Saturday and Star of the Sea on Sunday that could decide their season.
Kennedy is believed to feel that McHale’s experience is the missing piece his squad requires to make the play-offs and win the SuperLeague title. Ballina have been in superb form of recent weeks winning seven of their last eight games and putting in a real challenge to defend their northern conference title after an indifferent start.
"Liam has fantastic experience and is without a doubt the best Irish player to ever play in the league,“ Terry Kennedy said.
“We have such a good chance of success this year that I wanted to give the team every opportunity to achieve their potential. Liam is a great leader both on and off the floor and makes my job so much easier. The younger guys really look up to him.“
The twice cup-winning coach was also eager to point out that the big man is in fantastic shape. "Anybody who knows Liam will know that he never lets himself get out of shape. He will have a big say before this campaign is over."
Ballina's only injury worry is Paul Freeman who is struggling with a nose injury sustained in last week’s visit to St Vincent’s.
However, it is still uncertain whether or not Ronan McGarrity will feature in either or both of Merry Monk’s vital games. He is due to line out with the Mayo senior footballers on Sunday in the National Football League against Limerick at McHale Park, Castlebar.