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Jim Ervin hungry for more glory after County Antrim Shield success

By Graham Luney

Published 14/01/2016

Shield of dreams: Ballymena United aces Jim Ervin and Allan Jenkins parade the County Antrim Shield at Windsor Park
Shield of dreams: Ballymena United aces Jim Ervin and Allan Jenkins parade the County Antrim Shield at Windsor Park

"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."

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016
Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena's celebrate as they lift the shield after winning 2-3.
Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena's celebrate as they lift the shield after winning 2-3. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena's Eoin Kane celebrates after scoring to make it 1-3. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena's Eoin Kane celebrates after scoring to make it 1-3. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ballymena's David Cushley celebrates winning the County Antrim Shield after defeating Linfield in the final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ballymena's Tony Kane celebrates winning the County Antrim Shield after defeating Linfield in the final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ballymena players celebrate winning the County Antrim Shield after defeating Linfield in the final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena's Eoin Kane celebrates after scoring to make it 1-3. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena celebrate after scoring to make it 0-1. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/01/2016 Linfield v Ballymena United Co Antrim Shield final Ballymenas Paddy McNally scores during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/01/2016 Linfield v Ballymena United Co Antrim Shield final Linfields Mark Haughey and Ballymenas William Faulkner during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/01/2016 Linfield v Ballymena United Co Antrim Shield final Linfields Jimmy Callacher and Ballymenas Alan Blayney during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/01/2016 Linfield v Ballymena United Co Antrim Shield final Ballymenas Paddy McNally scores during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/01/2016 Linfield v Ballymena United Co Antrim Shield final Ballymenas Paddy McNally scores during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/01/2016 Linfield v Ballymena United Co Antrim Shield final Linfields Kirk Millar and Ballymenas William Faulkner during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 12/01/2016 Linfield v Ballymena United Co Antrim Shield final Linfields Andrew Waterworth and Ballymenas Stephen McBride during this evenings game at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Guy Bates celebrates scoring against Ballymena during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Guy Bates celebrates scoring against Ballymena during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Guy Bates celebrates scoring against Ballymena during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Guy Bates celebrates scoring against Ballymena during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Guy Bates with Ballymena's Alan Blayney and Paddy McNally during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Mark Haughey with Ballymena's Willie Faulkner during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Jimmy Callacher with Ballymena's Alan Blayney during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Kirk Millar with Ballymena's Willie Faulkner during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Andrew Waterworth with Ballymena's Jim Ervin during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Jamie Mulgrew with Ballymena's Jim Ervin during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Mark Stafford with Ballymena's Allan Jenkins during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ballymena's Paddy McNally celebrates scoring against Linfield during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ballymena's Paddy McNally celebrates scoring against Linfield during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Andrew Waterworth with Ballymena's Stephen McBride during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Linfield's Sean Ward with Ballymena's Tony Kane during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ballymena's Paddy McNally celebrates scoring against Linfield during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ballymena's Paddy McNally celebrates scoring against Linfield during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ballymena's Paddy McNally celebrates scoring against Linfield during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Ballymena's Paddy McNally celebrates scoring against Linfield during Tuesday's County Antrim Shield final at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena celebrate after scoring to make it 0-1. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena celebrate after scoring to make it 0-1. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena celebrate after scoring to make it 0-1. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena celebrate after scoring to make it 0-1. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena celebrate after scoring to make it 0-1. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Linfield's Kirk Millar with Ballymena's Stephen McBride. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Linfield's Andy Waterworth with Ballymena's Jim Ervin. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Ballymena celebrate after scoring to make it 0-1. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Linfield's Kirk Millar with Ballymena's William Faulkner. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th January 2016 Toals Bookmakers County Antrim Shield Final at Windsor Park Belfast. Linfield Vs Ballymena. Linfield's Sean Ward with Ballymena's Alan Jenkins. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

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."

Belfast Telegraph

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