GLENN Ferguson was thrilled to land a trophy just 11 months into his managerial career after Ballymena United’s penalty shootout win over Linfield in the County Antrim Shield final.
“First and foremost I’m absolutely delighted for the players, those who played and those who were in the squad,” said Glenn.
“The last couple of weeks haven’t been easy after 6-0 and 8-0 defeats but I thought they showed fantastic character tonight.
“We put up a good fight against the league champions and I think we deserved to win over the course of 110 minutes.
“Linfield had a lot of the play but Stuarty Addis didn’t have a lot of saves to make.
“I’m delighted for the players and fans - they will enjoy their night and deservedly so.
“I told the boys at half-time that Linfield wouldn’t lie down so we were going to have to be determined and dig in at times.
“We had to make a change when Davy Munster went off injured, putting Mark Surgenor to centre-back and Allan Jenkins did a fantastic job after he came on of winning headers and keeping the ball for us but to a man, they all worked their socks off.
“We practised penalties last night in training and the boys were confident so we were ready for it.
“I would rather miss the first penalty in a shootout than the last one because with the first one, you always have a chance to come back from it.
“Stuart Addis has obviously worked with those Linfield players over the past four or five years and I’m sure he’s been up against a few penalties from them so he maybe had a wee edge on them - he did brilliantly to save two penalties.”
Ferguson insists United won’t rest on their laurels after their long-awaited success, stressing that he wants to continue to take the club forward.
“I’m hoping that some good players who are surplus to requirements at other clubs might look at coming to a club like us who have an opportunity to win trophies.
“We’re always looking to attract better players because by doing that we become a better team and a better club.
“Our aim this season was to finish in the top six in the league and win a trophy and that’s the first one done but we won’t get too carried away because it’s a long road,” added Ferguson.