Belfast Telegraph

How David Jeffrey has transformed Ballymena United, explains Addis

Old master: Jonny Addis is a huge admirer of David Jeffrey
Old master: Jonny Addis is a huge admirer of David Jeffrey
Ballymena manager David Jeffrey

By Graham Luney

Jonny Addis has offered an insight into how David Jeffrey's professionalism and attention to detail has helped transform Ballymena United's fortunes.

Jeffrey bolstered his panel in the summer and the extensive rebuilding work has sparked major progress at the Showgrounds.

The Sky Blues even blasted their way to the Danske Bank Premiership summit while setting up a shot at League Cup glory with Linfield awaiting in the decider at Windsor Park.

After the Blues' win at Newry City last night, United occupy second spot and are six points behind the leaders but with a game in hand.

Addis was one of the new recruits in the summer after he left Glentoran and the defender has shone for the Braidmen.

While the 26-year-old won one Irish Cup during his five years at the Glens, Jeffrey got his hands on many more trophies as Linfield manager - 31 in fact, and since going to Ballymena in 2016 he has picked up a League Cup success for good measure.

Another League Cup will be pocketed if United conquer Linfield at Windsor on February 16.

Addis admitted Jeffrey's managerial style has surprised him but he can clearly understand why both him and his assistant Bryan McLoughlin have tasted so much success.

"He's brilliant," said Addis when asked what DJ was like. "Whenever I met him the first time you just got a sense he knows what he wants and knows how to get there. Whether you are part of it or not, it's going to happen.

"His vision for the club and plans are so clear and as a manager he's been brilliant. His professionalism is the biggest difference and probably the biggest surprise since I went to the club.

"His professionalism is second to none. Nothing is left to chance. Even in training drills everything is set out like who is in which team. Everything is organised to a tee and there's a purpose behind everything. Everything is geared towards winning.

"From a motivational point of view he's probably a little different to what I expected. There's fewer blood and thunder team talks than you would imagine because of the way he acts and the clear plan he has. Everybody knows the expectations and standards that are set.

"The hard work is already done and in the team talks it's just the final few messages he wants to get across to the players before you go out. But every player knows you must perform or not be a part of it.

"The club is going places and you've got to perform."

Players have different personalities and for that reason managers will need to treat them differently to ensure they get the desired response. Jeffrey's man management skills have played a major part in his success story.

"There will be times when he needs to rip into people but it's not always that way," said Addis.

"We have different characters and he deals with people differently.

"I can see why he was so successful at Linfield. People might think that was easy but we've seen that winning doubles isn't easy. I couldn't speak highly enough of Davy."

United resume their Premiership campaign at home to basement side Ards on Saturday.

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