Antrim have suffered a blow before the start of their McKenna Cup campaign with the news that centre-forward Kevin Niblock has signed a one-year deal with Irish Premiership champions Cliftonville.

Niblock, who won an All-Ireland club title with St Gall's in 2010, has been Antrim's star man in recent seasons and will be a big loss as new boss Liam Bradley looks to replicate the success of his first period in charge.

"Kevin has been training with us recently and he is a fit, athletic lad who could slot into a number of roles," said Cliftonville manager Tommy Breslin. 

"He'll get a few games under his belt before figuring for the first team. I anticipate that he may play centre midfield or centre-back but we'll wait and see.

"He has good awareness and good strength. He will certainly add to our squad."