Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena forward can complete step from junior football to becoming a senior star, argues Addis


Kenny Kane and David Jeffrey
Kenny Kane and David Jeffrey

By Graham Luney

Jonny Addis says he expects more fireworks from Ballymena United's rising young star, Kenny Kane.

The striker's goal scoring prowess emerged at Coleraine and District Premier League side Dervock and now manager David Jeffrey is hoping he's uncovered a sparkling gem.

In his first full debut for the club, the young goal getter netted twice in the midweek 6-0 win over Dollingstown in the BetMcLean League Cup.

Defender Addis has predicted Kane will have a bright future in the game, provided his work ethic and willingness to learn remains strong.

"It was his first full game and he did very well," said former Glentoran ace Addis. "He's very young and looked very good.

"He had been training with us one night a week from earlier in the year and seemed pretty sharp but you like to see the players in a game situation.

"He was excellent, quick, sharp and a great finisher. He was scoring a ridiculous amount of goals in junior football so to get off the mark against Dollingstown was a good start for him. We've seen top players make the step up from junior football like Joe Gormley and Kenny has the potential. I think David (Jeffrey) and Bryan (McLaughlin) are hoping something similar will happen. Guys like Gareth McConaghie and James McLaughlin have also stepped up from that level and hopefully we have found a hidden gem.

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"I don't see any reason why Kenny can't push on and improve. A few goals always lifts the confidence and if he works hard and applies himself we will see a lot more of him. He has all the attributes to do well."

The Sky Blues are the next side looking to slam the brakes on league leaders Crusaders at the Showgrounds tomorrow.

"We have a decent record against Crusaders, particularly at home, but they are flying and a team in form," added Addis.

"The Linfield result was a big lift for them and I believe they are a different animal to the side we faced last year.

"We will expect a tough game as their big attacking players are firing. But we won't fear them, we have good players and we can match anyone.

"It's too early to say the title will be a two horse race but the Crues and Linfield should be in the mix. Time will tell whether another side can sustain a challenge.

"Those two teams have battled it out for a number of years so that's the expectation again but I wouldn't rule other teams out at this stage.

"There are big matches every week and the picture can change quickly."

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