Belfast Telegraph

Jim Ervin hungry for more glory after County Antrim Shield success

By Graham Luney

"I'm a born winner and I'd never play football if I didn't think I could win" - the words of Ballymena United's captain marvel Jim Ervin after their stunning County Antrim Shield triumph.

The Sky Blues stunned Linfield 3-2 at Windsor Park and it was a sweet moment for Ervin, lifting the giant trophy as skipper at the venue where he became a legend in a different shade of blue.

"Regardless of which club I'm playing for or who I'm playing against that's my attitude and Spike (Glenn Ferguson) has put a great team together," he said.

"It's four finals in four seasons and we've won two and lost two so there's a lot of boys in the changing room who will be stronger for this experience.

"At Linfield you are expected to win trophies while at other clubs it's regarded as a bonus.

"To come here, especially after Saturday's Irish Cup loss when many people thought we would have been dejected, was a big challenge but we rallied throughout the game as Linfield put us under a lot of pressure.

"This is a special moment for me, not only to win my first medal after leaving Linfield but to be captain of the winning side and achieve it against the Blues at Windsor Park."

Ervin was also thrilled for his former Linfield team-mate Ferguson who came in for some criticism after a disappointing start to the season.

"You've got to look at what we achieved and then look at the teams above us in the table and recognise their budgets - the likes of Portadown, Glentoran, Cliftonville, Crusaders and Coleraine. |It has been tough, he came in for a lot of flak at the start of the season and I felt it was unfair but it wasn't just Glenn it was the players as well as we weren't performing," added Ervin.

"We can score goals from all over the pitch but we need to be better at keeping them out."

Both teams produced brave, committed performances at Windsor but United were fortunate to have a leader as inspirational and reliable as Ervin.

He added: "I thought we had chances to win the game on Saturday but just couldn't get going in extra-time. We had that belief and didn't have that fear factor coming here. I'm just pleased we were able to turn it round."

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