Belfast Telegraph

Jeffrey delighted to see Glendinning and McGrory grab chance

Red-hot form: Andy McGrory
Red-hot form: Andy McGrory

By Billy Weir

While it wasn't exactly the last-chance saloon for some Ballymena United stars, the current squad is largely made up of players who, for whatever reason, are finding the pastures around Warden Street a tad greener than their old stomping grounds.

It is a point that David Jeffrey, who takes his side to the Brandywell today to face Institute, is acutely aware of and one that he and assistant Bryan McLoughlin were keen to exploit when they began their rebuilding at the Showgrounds.

And two men who fall into that bracket are Andy McGrory and Ross Glendinning, who left Glenavon and Linfield respectively for more first-team action and haven't looked back since.

Glendinning turned in another superb goalkeeping display last weekend to deny Cliftonville at least a share of the spoils, while McGrory netted his fifth goal of the season and has become a fans' favourite in his two seasons by the Braid.

"All of the players we have got in were at clubs where they maybe just didn't get playing as often or as regularly and all Andrew has been given is an opportunity and encouragement and the rest is down to Andrew," explained Jeffrey.

"He is one of the most modest, most humble young men ever and I am so delighted he is one of a number of players who have committed themselves for two seasons.

"Ross Glendinning is another one and I tell you who takes as much credit, it's Jordan Williamson who is pushing Ross all the way.

Sign In

"Big Alan Simpson, my goalkeeping coach, works tirelessly, absolutely tirelessly with our goalkeepers. It's not just about Ross, it's about Jordan Williamson who is providing the competition for when we've put him in he's done tremendously well and under the mentorship of Alan Simpson has really produced some top-drawer performances.

"Ross is another young man who was at a club where he wasn't playing as regularly as he would have liked.

"What we have said is that we have recognised their talent, but we've given them opportunities and been true to our word."

As for today's game, Jeffrey knows what to expect.

"Every time we've gone to Institute, regardless of what they've been doing it has never been easy," he said.

"I can never remember any time we've had an easy game with Institute. They've gone to Warrenpoint (and won) and they were here a couple of weeks ago and while we won 4-0, Warrenpoint did well and we rode our luck before we got the goals."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph