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Saturday 16th December v. Carrick Rangers (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 3:00pm

Kofi Balmer pens deal
Uploaded Saturday, 25th Nov, 2017 at 18:08

TODAY marks a significant moment of celebration for one of the brightest prospects to have broken into the first team in recent years.
Ballymena United may have left Solitude disappointed not to get something from the match, but Kofi Balmer has signed for the Sky Blues on a three year contract after impressing since his senior debut at the end of last season. The central defender, having just turned 17, had been making waves in the development team last season and has taken those performances into the first team in recent weeks.
David Jeffrey, Kofi Balmer and Bryan McLoughlin
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Manager David Jeffrey reflected on the news after the defeat to Cliftonville, "whilst I'm obviously bitterly disappointed and frustrated after a match where we deserved at least a point, the silver lining was not just the performance of Kofi Balmer, but the fact that today he has put pen to paper on a 3 year deal.
He is exactly the type of young person and footballer that we want to build the club around. In terms of his development he has played consistently well and credit must be paid to our development staff and Bryan McLoughlin. Thinking back to his debut against Coleraine and scoring the goal that set us en route to European football, we have continued to monitor his progress and today marks a significant milestone for him. We met with Kofi and his parents and it was the easiest piece of business to conduct - Kofi wants to give his best to Ballymena United and he is an absolute credit to himself, his family and this club.
We want to send a clear message - we are going after the best young players and will continue to put our efforts into youth development as we have with the likes of Kofi, Leroy Millar, Matthew Shevlin and Caolan Loughran. We are seeing that the effort put in, we will get in return."
Kofi responded to the manager's comments, "to be standing here at 17 years of age it could be overwhelming to be talking about signing a 3 year contract but genuinely, everything this season has been about keeping my head down and keeping my contribution up to constant standard and progressing in my football. It is great to be able to commit to Ballymena United and I'll take this step as I have every other since making my debut against Coleraine, by taking every opportunity to work with the staff and squad to develop as a player.
I'm looking forward to being a key part of Ballymena United playing at the top levels in this league. Ultimately I want to win things at Ballymena and would love to then progress into full time football across the water and so how I play and develop here over the next few years will be of benefit not just to me but hopefully the club too."