Saturday 24th October v. Linfield (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 5:30pm

Coleraine Match Report
David Jeffrey on new players, contract extensions
Uploaded Friday, 11th Sep, 2020 at 19:00


THE Boss spoke exclusively to ballymenaunitedfc.com to review the work behind the scenes to build the squad for the season ahead with news on new signings, contract extensions and a long term deal for one of our outstanding young stars.
Welcome to Trai Hume, who joins us on a one year loan deal from Linfield. The Northern Ireland U18 defender/midfielder joined his home town team for training last night, 'Firstly we want to thank David Healy and Linfield in coming to an agreement for Trai to join us on a one year loan. He felt that at this point in his career he wanted to be getting senior game time and there may be more opportunity for that here given the size of the squad at Linfield. His attitude is exemplary and his ability actually leads people to still wonder where exactly is his best position, because he's equally adept in the centre at the back, on the right, in the middle of the park, but what we do know is that we've signed an excellent young footballer who is certainly not a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. He joined us in training last night and it's clear to see the ability and class that he has. It's also lovely that we have a local lad, albeit on loan, out representing Ballymena United and his attitude in wanting to join his home town is absolutely first class.'
Welcome to Ross Redman, who signs on a one year contract in competition for the left back position. Redman joins after four years with Glentoran.

'Ross brings a wealth of experience to the team but is still only 30. He is a player who has very much had an outstanding career at Portadown and Glentoran. His availability to commit to full time training at Glentoran wasn't possible due to his work and so he spent last season on loan at Dungannon. We were alerted of his availability, he came up and trained this pre-season and what has been most pleasing is his performance in training, his fitness levels and that he very much wanted to come here. He was very praiseworthy of what we were trying to do and wants to be a part of that. Most telling was that he talked about still having a point to prove, and so we're delighted to give him that chance here.'
How are Owen McKeown and Ryan Waide settling in?

'As we already reported, we had Owen join us for pre-season training after an absolutely stand out performance against us in the preparation matches before the Irish Cup semi final. What we have seen so far in training has the coaching team very pleased. His pace, and ability to carry the ball with is one of the reasons that he stood out and he continues to develop even more as a player during training. Ryan is another young man who has bags of energy and talent, and through no fault of his own has just found chances hampered by injury and circumstance. We have signed him now fully fit and we're seeing already in training the reasons why we worked so hard to make sure he signed for us. He is enthusiastic, quick and has a sharp eye for goal and we are seeing that in every session so far.'
Contract extensions for Jim Ervin, Anthony Kane and James Knowles.

'In terms of the two senior men in the squad Jim Ervin and Anthony Kane. What can be said that has never been said before? I maintain consistently that the skipper has played better football the older that he has got - his leadership, professionalism, enthusiasm, diligence to all that he does has been fabulous. He was one that had a tough year due to injury last season but has come back fitter and stronger in pre-season and we're delighted that he's agreed to extend his contract to stay with us. Anthony Kane is your typical professional club man. Totally committed in everything that he does and covers us in a number of positions on the pitch. I'm told this is his tenth year at the club, which is testament to his commitment. To serve any club for ten years in this modern day is almost freakish and we're delighted that he's agreed to extend to do just that. James has had a tough couple of years since joining us, not least the League Cup Final where his injury ended up with surgery that put him out for a significant period of time. His return was a bit stop/start, which was the nature of the injury. However, we know the ability and talent that is there and we felt James has pushed himself to show that he wanted that opportunity to let people see the best of him and we're delighted to have him stay here.'
Joshua Kelly commits to the club on a long term contract.

'Joshua is a young man who had been on our radar for some time, and we were delighted when he decided to join us last year. His performances spoke for themselves throughout the year, people could see how he grew and became such a mature young man. We felt it was the correct and proper thing to offer him his first professional contract, which clearly costs us some money in compensation but we believe that Josh is an outstanding talent and this is a long term investment of us in him, and indeed of him in us. He is the type of young player with endless energy and ability, wants to learn more and loves being a Ballymena United player. We are so, so pleased to be able to make him part of our long term vision at the club.'
Moving forward.

'I consider myself blessed and privileged to be manager of BUFC, and Bryan and I have been immensely encouraged by the appreciation of so many Ballymena United supporters. We are here to do one thing - to make sure that in every detail of this club we're all working to be the best that we can be. We are fortunate to have a tight knit community around us in the Showgrounds from the chairman and board through to the real supporters in this town. To be charged with the responsibility of leading a squad of staff and players that mean so much to this town is not something we take lightly and we continue to take on that responsibility with the same vigour as we did from day one. We continue to move forward as we always have done, UNITED.'
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