Ballymena United club captain Jim Ervin is backing Adam Lecky to shake off the distraction of Glentoran’s transfer interest and deliver in Sky Blues colours.
Confirmation of bids by ambitious Glentoran for Lecky and Cliftonville’s Joe Gormley sparked ferocious debate within Irish League circles following talk of £60,000 fees.
Club officials from Ballymena and Cliftonville both stood firm this week in the face of the Glens’ financial muscle to reject tabled offers - with Ervin delighted with the United stance given a sum which would break the long-standing Irish League record of £55,000 paid by Linfield for Glenavon’s Glenn Ferguson in 1998.
“It is great for the club to come out and offer that clarity and make the stance so clear as obviously we want to keep our best players and build,” said Ervin, a former Linfield team-mate of Ferguson’s. “Transfers are dealt with by the Board of Directors and manager so, as players, it is our job to keep the focus on training and games and not let anything else take away from our goals.
“Immediately you could see over social media people comparing Joe and Adam to Glenn and that is always unfair given the fact that the money involved in any transfer comes down to the clubs and has nothing to do with the individual player.
“But I travel with Adam so know him well as a person and player and have no concerns he will let anything affect him in a negative way.
“He is a smashing guy as well as being a top professional and player - someone so important to our future plans.
“Although injuries have knocked Adam’s progress back a bit, overall you can see his development over the past few years since coming to Ballymena.”
Ervin retains his faith that Ballymena can regroup and move forward despite a struggle for consistency by the side second in last season’s Danske Bank Premiership but now sitting ninth.
“We can look back on injury problems overall as a squad and accept they come part and parcel of football,” said Ervin. “But numerous aspects have gone against us this season and, certainly, we all accept the campaign has not gone according to plan.
“But you look at the squad and we still believe and once that changing room door shuts then the outside distractions get locked out and everyone is working together.
“I am sure the manager and officials are working hard on strengthening our squad and the desire to keep Adam sends out a clear message.”