David Jeffrey delight as Ballymena United players pen extended deals
Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey has expressed his delight after rewarding some of his key men with new contracts.
Jonathan McMurray, Leroy Millar and William Faulkner have signed until the 2018/19 season while this season's top scorer Cathair Friel has committed himself to the club until 2020.
It's a shrewd bit of business by the former Linfield chief and a perfect boost for the Braidmen going into Saturday's Irish Cup showdown with H&W Welders.
"I am absolutely delighted to be able to say that Jonathan, Leroy and William have signed two year extensions, and Cathair a three year extension," Jeffrey said.
"These players have made a tremendous contribution to this on-going project here at our football club and I am delighted that they have chosen to be a part of our future plans.
"We are more than aware that many other clubs were monitoring their contract situations and so it is a credit that they have extended their stays here.
"We continually assess every player in the squad and if people are making a significant contribution to the team then those are players who we want to remain here, and will reward them as such."
Meanwhile, Portadown have signed striker Shane Dolan and goalkeeper Jack Duffin.
• The Northern Ireland Under-17 women's team held Scotland to a 2-2 draw yesterday in the second fixture of their double header.
Having lost the first match on Sunday, Alison Nicholl's young side bounced back well to earn a deserved draw in Jordanstown.
Kelsie Burrows and Megan Bell netted for the hosts.
Nicholl said: "The team produced a great display. I'm pleased with the result, and it was great to see such a young team dominate the game against more experienced opposition.
"The girls showed great character to come from a goal behind, I think we were unlucky not to win in the end."