IRISH LEAGUE: We had different ideas about taking the club forward says Clifford Adams

Former Ballyclare Comrades manager Clifford Adams. �INPHO/Jonathan Porter
Former Ballyclare Comrades manager Clifford Adams. �INPHO/Jonathan Porter

Clifford Adams says a difference in opinion at how Ballyclare Comrades should move forward led to him parting company with the club.

Comrades announced on Monday morning Adams was to end his tenure as first team manager ‘by mutual consent’.

Speaking to Times Sport Adams said he had been working on plans to make the club competitive again next season, and had been talking with club officials about those plans over the past month.

“As we all know next year will be a fight again for that top six spot with so many big clubs potentially in the mix,” he said.

“Myself and the club have been talking over the last four or five weeks regarding next season, and I believed as a club we needed to push that bit more, on and off the field, if we are to be competitive.

“I had already got the players signed up that I wanted to be here next year as well as new recruits on board.

“Unfortunately after some discussion we both have different ideas of the way the club should progress.”

Adams admitted he was disappointed at how the second half of this season panned out for his side after an excellent first few months, which saw them top the Championship and reach the last eight of the League Cup.

“I’m delighted with what we achieved as much as I was disappointed in our second half of the season,” he said.

“When we first arrived at the club we were given the target of reaching the play-offs.

“This season the target was top six and reaching the quarter finals of a senior cup competition.

“In fact we were four minutes away from a senior semi final only to be eventually beaten by Dungannon Swifts, who went on to win the League Cup.

“This season was only the second time Ballyclare has finished in the top six of the Championship in the past 14 years.

“We spent four months at the top of the league, which, when you see the wealth of riches at other clubs compared to ourselves, was a fantastic achievement.

“Sadly once December and January came we were hit badly with suspensions and injuries.

“Losing Adam Gray, who is in my opinion the best left winger in the Championship, was a huge loss, you just can’t replace players like that.”

The former Wakehurst boss is hoping the club pushes forward with his plans to give more local footballers the chance to progress to the senior set-up.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club,” he said.

“Since myself and the staff arrived we have raised the professionalism around the club.

“We were in the process of restructuring the Under-20 development side as there was to many overage players in it.

“I had also made some great links with Ballyclare Colts and Malcolm Brown.

“We had agreed to create a new Under-18 side, which would hopefully create opportunities for local lads to come through and play for the seniors to make the club a place of pride for the youth in the long term.

“I hope these plans still go ahead.

“I would like to personally thank all the back room staff for their hard work and dedication, the fans, and the volunteers who give up their time week in week out looking after the ground.

“You are a credit to Ballyclare Comrades, and I wish the club all the very best for the future.

“I will take a few weeks break now with family as I have been coaching and managing for 18 years without a break, so I will recharge the batteries.

“I am doing my A licence in June and I will see what options I have over the summer, hopefully it won’t be long before I am back in the dugout again,” he concluded.