BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Kilmarnock manager Gary Locke admits he is delighted to have bolstered his defensive options with the capture of Conrad Balatoni.
The 24-year-old was unveiled as Locke’s latest recruit on Saturday after signing a deal until January, and was an unused substitute as Killie collected their first Premiership victory of the season at Dundee United.
Balatoni left Partick Thistle after five years and 162 outings during the summer and appeared on the bench as a trialist for Dunfermline in their recent 3-1 victory over Stranraer.
But Locke handed the centre half terms until the turn of the year after Balatoni impressed on trial.
Speaking to kilmarnockfc.co.uk, Locke said: “With the injury to Mark Connolly and with Lee McCulloch as well, we certainly didn’t plan to go into the market but we are short at the back.
“We looked at a number of centre backs but the lads that we looked at, they are outwith our price bracket and you have to be realistic.
“Conrad’s got great pedigree, he has been captain of Partick Thistle for the last two, three seasons.
“We had a good look at him and he’s starting to look a lot fitter now as he hadn’t done pre-season, but he will bring a lot of quality to the team.
“He is 24 and had a lot of experience, and hopefully if needed he can come in and bring a wee bit of assurance at the back.”