Ballynure Old Boys’ new boss Ronnie Burns says the club needs ‘a little fresh blood, not a massive overhaul’.
Burns, who was revealed as successor to his brother, Gary, on Saturday evening, is relishing the prospect of managing the Ballymena and Provincial League powerhouse. The former ‘Nure frontman arrives from Dixon Park where he enjoyed a spell as the man in charge Ballyclare Comrades’ Reserves.
“It’s a big challenge,” he admitted. “I had only been at Ballyclare a year and hadn’t really thought about moving, but the more I weighed the options up, I think it’s the right move.
“I think Ballynure needed to bring the right person in. My brother, Gary, and Andy Forsythe have brought so much success in a short period of time, and hopefully I am the right man to do it, it would be nice to carry on the success my brother had. I feel I have the ability; I have the confidence and the contacts.
“People were hitting the panic button at the end of last season because Ballynure didn’t win anything - but, remember, they were just three games away from a second successive treble!
“To move forward, the club needs a little fresh blood, not a massive overhaul. It’s important to have that fine balance of youth and experience. I feel if the right players don’t come in at this point, the next two or three seasons could be difficult for the club. We could find ourselves a mid-table team very quickly.
“The spine of the team is already there. Losing skipper Michael Duff through injury was a big loss, especially in the run-in. And out of the treble winning squad, we had already lost experienced players such as Davy Officer, Simon McGreevy, Paul Hughes and myself.
“I’m also going to try and persuade Andy Forsythe to keep playing. He would be a massive player for us; he and Ricky Higgins would walk into any Championship side.”
Burns added: “I’d like to thank everyone at the Comrades for giving me an amazing opportunity. I leave them with a heavy heart, and Stephen Hughes and Eddie Hill have been brilliant – but it’s a new beginning for me and I’m excited at what lies ahead. The hard work starts now and I’m buzzing for the next chapter!”
Ballynure chairman Michael Graham congratulated Ronnie on his new appointment, commenting: “If he’s anywhere near as good as his brother Gary, he’ll more than do!”