David Jeffrey reveals he offered to resign as Ballymena manager after ‘pretty low’ Carrick defeat

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey has revealed he offered his resignation to the club after last weekend’s 1-0 home defeat to Carrick Rangers but was encouraged to stay on after ‘heart to heart’ talks with the board and his players.

effrey added that following the discussions there is now ‘not a chance in the world’ he will be walking away from the Showgrounds and will remain at the helm ‘until the club decide otherwise’.

Speaking to the Ballymena’s official media channel after last night’s 3-0 League loss at Crusaders, an emotional Jeffrey admitted that six-and-a-half years into his United reign he was ready to leave, such was his mood after the disappointing performance against Carrick which continued a poor start to the campaign following on from last season’s heartbreaking defeat to the Crues in the Irish Cup Final.

Last Saturday, Jeffrey cut a downcast figure, raising questions about his future. One week on, the ex-Linfield boss and Irish League legend has outlined just how close he came to departing the Sky Blues.

“I am very blessed and very privileged to be manager of Ballymena United and absolutely love being at the club and working at the club, and I have been so thankful for the period that (assistant manager) Brian (McLaughlin) and I have been here, but last Saturday was pretty low,” explained Jeffrey.

“It is vitally important what always comes first is the best interests of Ballymena United, and that’s the board, the players and obviously the supporters, and last week after the game I was in a place where I thought possibly Ballymena United would be better off without David Jeffrey, as would the players, and I offered my resignation.

“I was asked to consider over the weekend by both the board, the chairman (John Taggart) and the players. We had a really good heart to heart on Tuesday night with the players and myself with no other people around and then we had another good meeting on Thursday, and the players were very good saying their performances hadn’t been good enough and hadn’t been up to standard and they could be doing better and just that ‘we wanted to put all of that right’.

“It’s early in the season, and I think this is not an excuse but people are still very raw over the Cup Final being so very close and we are trying to work our way through that and work a way through the fact that yet again players have moved on from us and we are trying to rebuild again.

“With the encouragement that I got from the club in general and the board, the players and staff, I will very clearly be here and will serve to such times the club decide otherwise.

“I don’t want this to become the David Jeffrey circus or some pity party because that’s not what this is about. I care far too much for this club and I was challenged ‘it may be easier David if you walked’, but not a chance in the world after this week.”

He closed by saying: “I appreciate the opportunity to tell folk exactly where I was at.”

Ballymena are third bottom in the Irish Premiership with just four points from seven games and some fans have made it clear they will feel a change is required. But, given events of the last week, it is evident that Jeffrey has strong support within the club.

He guided United to League Cup glory in 2017 and took them into Europe in 2019 after finishing second in the Irish Premiership to his old club Linfield, where he won 31 trophies as manager.

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