Belfast Telegraph

Glenn Ferguson may have to pull boots on

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

With Steven Beacom

Glenn Ferguson is one of the greatest Irish League footballers ever. He's the best I've seen, just ahead of Jim Cleary.

Glentoran legend Jim, of course, hails from Fermanagh, which is where Ferguson will be tonight.

No, Spike's not going fishing in Lough Erne, though I imagine he has acquired the patience for it over the last 10 months.

In that time Ferguson has watched his Ballymena United side consistently underperform after ending the club's 23-year trophy drought, when they defeated Linfield to claim the County Antrim Shield.

I'm all for celebrating, but the party for Ballymena players has been going on in their heads for far too long.

On Spike's coaching staff are Lee Doherty, Norman Kelly and Wes Lamont. Four guys who enjoyed winning silverware in their day, but what set them apart as serial winners and not one hit wonders was the following day they'd look forward to the next mountain to climb.

And so to tonight when Ballymena are in Ballinamallard for a crucial league game. Newly promoted Ards and Warrenpoint are expected to battle it out to avoid the drop, but both are showing signs of becoming accustomed to the top tier.

That's dangerous for Ballymena and Ballinamallard, who are too close to the relegation zone for comfort.

I expect Whitey Anderson's players to steer clear of trouble. They have fight.

Ballymena's? Not so sure. It's about time they showed some and forgot their Shield success. Otherwise Spike, Doc, Normski and Wes (in their 40s and 50s now) will have to get the boots out again to keep Ballymena up!

Belfast Telegraph


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