Sky Blues aim for Youth Cup glory

Ballymena United under-19 manager Clifford Adams and captain Kyle Crawford are hoping to get their hands on the Harry Cavan IFA Youth Cup for real on Wednesday night.
Ballymena United under-19 manager Clifford Adams and captain Kyle Crawford are hoping to get their hands on the Harry Cavan IFA Youth Cup for real on Wednesday night.

Ballymena United youth team manager Clifford Adams says his team are in top form ahead of Wednesday’s Harry Cavan IFA Youth Cup final.

The Sky Blues under-19s take on Crusaders Colts in the decider at Moyola Park (7.45pm).

“The boys have been absolutely buzzing since the semi-final - the big thing has been keeping them calm in the run-up,” Adams told Times Sport.

The final had been initially been scheduled for last month but was postponed because the Seaview side had three players in the Northern Ireland under-18 squad.

“It’s been a long wait since the semi-final and we’ve picked up a few injuries since then - to key players like Dave Woods and Adam McCracken.

“There’s no doubt it will be a close game - the two league games between the teams have finished 1-1 and 3-3 and Crusaders finished a point ahead of us last year, so there’s literally nothing between the sides.

“Our team has developed really well over the past year and half, not just in footballing terms but they have also been really dedicated to their strength and conditioning and they are also able to compete physically, perhaps more so than Ballymena teams would have done in the past. I would be delighted for the boys if they were to win it because they have committed themselves to training three nights per week, eating the right things and preparing in the right way.

“They have done everything we have asked of them and it would be great if they could turn in a big display on the big occasion,” added Cliffy.