Ballymena boss David Jeffrey reveals league championship aspirations

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David Jeffrey guided Linfield to 31 trophies during 17-years at the Windsor Park club

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey says his time at the club could have not gone any better and has revealed that his aim is to ''bring a league championship'' back to Warden Street.

Jeffrey, signed a three-year deal at the Showgrounds last March and has turned the clubs fortunes around guiding Ballymena into the top-six of the Irish Premier League and progressing to the final of the League Cup against Carrick Rangers.

Jeffrey guided Linfield to 31 trophies during 17-years with the south Belfast club but admits securing silverware and a league championship with Ballymena would be even sweeter.

"What I achieved at Linfield was phenomenal, six doubles in seven-years and a clean sweep but I think to take the club (Ballymena) from where they are at and where we would like to go, that would be a ginormous achievement.

"The encouraging think is we look at Cliftonville where they were. Look at Crusaders where they were ten-years ago. You look at Glenavon and what they have done. That is through hard work and improving year-on-year. 

"They are the clubs who are at the top echelons of the Irish league and they came from a humble period in their history. They have shown the benchmark and we are going to try and replicate that."

Ballymena play beaten County Antrim Shied finalists Crusaders at Seaview on Saturday and Jeffrey admits that key striker Johnny McMurray could miss the match against the champions following a groin injury.

"Johnny came through training on Thursday night but we'll wait closer to the game before making a decision. Joseph McKinney is another we are worried about. Obviously new signing Kevin (Braniff) came on and made a massive impact last week but we'll probably wait closer to the time (before deciding if he starts).

The last time the Sky Blues played Crusaders at Seaview, Stephen Baxter's side thumped Ballymena 6-0 on the opening day of the league season.

"I remember telling my assistant Brian McLaughlin that we were doing well after twenty-five minutes but within the next ten-minutes (they) scored three goals against us. To say that they blew us away was no exaggeration. 

"When we took them back to our place we had a phenomenal result that day when we beat them 2-1. But I have to say that 6-0 drubbing probably did us the world of good because we had a good pre-season and suddenly we were brought back down to earth.

"They are without doubt the strongest team in the country. Stephen Baxter has done a marvellous job."

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