Ferguson not closing door on transfer-listed Henderson

Striker Darren Henderson has been placed on the transfer list at Ballymena United.
Striker Darren Henderson has been placed on the transfer list at Ballymena United.

Glenn Ferguson insists that it’s by no means certain that Darren Henderson has played his last game for Ballymena United.

The striker wasn’t in the United squad for Saturday’s home defeat by Linfield after being placed on the transfer list at his own request.

But Ferguson says the door hasn’t been closed completely on a player he brought to the club in the January transfer window two years ago.

“I’ve had a couple of phone calls, from Dungannon and Ballinamallard about him but the ball is in Darren’s court.

“I’m not chasing him out - he’s the one who has asked to be placed on the transfer list to try and get more playing time.

“If that doesn’t happen, I’m told him to knuckle down and try to get himself back in the team.

“He understands that but he’s 29 and he wants to play football.

“At this moment in time I can;t guarantee him he’ll be playing every week so he has taken the opportunity to maybe move on.

“We don;t necessarily need to get anybody out but the big thing is who you get in,” said Ferguson, who responded to reports linking Ballymena with Gary Twigg.

The Portadown striker is out of contract in the summer and has already accepted a key coaching role at the Showgrounds club’s Youth Academy.

“Gary has a big involvement around the club already and he is coming in to be head coach of the Youth Academy’s strikers and defenders.

“When you;re a striker, you know what way defenders work as well.

“Would he be a great signing? Yes he would but there’s a lot of work would have to go into it.

“Portadown aren’t going to let him go in January.

“We’ve sent a letter in expressing our interest in Gary and I’ve spoken to him and we’re trying to put something together.

“He’s living locally to Ballymena so if we can get him signed it will be a great signing and would give the club a lift.

“He is one of the most natural goalscorers in the country, not just Northern Ireland but down south as well.

“There aren’t too many of the type of players you need in the Premiership who are available.

“There aren’t too many clubs who are going to release players in January, particularly if it from a team in and around us who won;t want to weaken themselves and strengthen us.

“Some teams are still in the Irish Cup and want to keep their squads together so it’s very hard in January to get the type of player who is going to make a difference.

“Even if you do go down a level to the Championship and identify one, it’s hard to get them to shift out of their comfort zone.

“People sometimes don;t realise how hard it is to get players in,” added Ferguson.