Port Vale Football Club are delighted to announce that defender Kofi Balmer has joined on a season-long loan from Premier League side, Crystal Palace.
The 22-year-old came through the ranks at Ballymena United and made his debut for them at the age of 16, he then went on to make a total of 91 appearances for the club before moving to Larne in 2021, giving him the opportunity to become a full-time professional footballer.
The defender made 43 appearances for the County Antrim-based club, including tasting European football, and featuring in Europa Conference League Qualifiers.
He then caught the eye of Premier League side, Crystal Palace who brought him to England in June 2022.
Balmer is reunited with Andy Crosby having played under him for Norther Ireland Under-21s where he also captained his national side.
Talking about bringing Kofi into the squad, manager Andy Crosby said:
“I’m looking forward to working with Kofi again, he is the type of player that will fit in well with what we’re building on and off the field here at Vale Park and will provide good competition in defence.
"He has played more than 100 senior games in his career and has further developed his game at Premier League first-team level, he has also gained invaluable experience training and learning from elite-level players at Crystal Palace, Kofi has experienced playing international football with Northern Ireland and will be looking to regain his place in the senior squad.
“I’ve been lucky to see what Kofi is capable of first-hand during my time at Northern Ireland Under 21s, he has got the drive to succeed and is a natural leader, even at a young age. He will also have the support network around him to help him grow during his time here.”
Director of Football David Flitcroft said:
"Kofi will be an excellent addition to our defensive unit as he can operate in all three central defensive positions.
"At the age of 22 he already experienced real men’s football playing for Ballymena and Larne over the last 12 months he has been a part of a great learning and elite training environment at Crystal Palace.
"The manager and John Schofield have first-hand experience of Kofi having worked with him at International level and the support staff will help him with his continued development.
"We'd like to thank Crystal Palace, in particular Mark Bright and Ben Stevens for allowing Kofi to continue his development with us and we look forward to working with them in the future."