Captain Niall Scullion leaves Athlone Town to return to junior ranks with St PetersWed, Sep 27 2017
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Athlone Town captain Niall Scullion has called an end to his League of Ireland career and rejoined his local junior team St Peters.
The 30-year-old has spent 12 years on and off with the midlands club and leaves at the end of a turbulent season that sees the club rooted to the bottom of the First Division table.
In happier times, Scullion was part of the squad that won the First Division under current manager Roddy Collins in 2013.
It will be the defender's third stint with Peters after two short spells in the past, which included guiding them to only their third-ever CCFL Senior Division title in 2015/16.
He re-signed for Athlone under Colin Fortune at the beginning of 2017 and assumed the captaincy, making 18 appearances in total during his final spell.
“I'm delighted to be back at Peters,” Scullion told extratime.ie.
“Altogether I played with Athlone for 12 years, having made debut for senior team in 2005 in St Mel's Park. I always gave 100 % when wore the black and black jersey for over 100 appearances.
“Not many local lads from Athlone have a league winner's medal for their home town.
“I had a spell of ten games in 2009 with Peters. I got a bad injury on my ankle playing for Athlone so worked on fitness with Peters for ten games and went back to Athlone.
“I left for Peters again when Athlone were in the Premier, played two games then went overseas with work to Syria.
“I joined Peters again and won the league as captain with them in 2015/16 and then went back to Athlone.
“I'd like to thank Colin Forture for offering me the chance to come back and play League of Ireland and for giving me the armband – he's a top man.
“I hope everyone from the town respects my decision to leave. My League of Ireland days are over.
“Most of my friends play with Peters plus loads of my workmates from the army play as well. It's a great club in a new league this season so hoping the win a trophy or two this year.
“Peters is a club on the up with a new astroturf facility being built.”
Scullion made his latest debut for Peters in a 4-0 victory over Shiven Rovers in Newbridge on Sunday, scoring the first goal as the club maintained their 100% start in the Premier Division.