New sponsor as SML kicks off on Wednesday night

THE Ballymena Saturday Morning League season kicks off this Wednesday, August 1, with the opening round of the O’Kane Cup, while the league begins this Saturday, August 4, with a new sponsor on board.

Thursday, 2nd August 2012, 9:07 am

When Tower Blinds’ sponsorship deal expired, Secretary Brian Montgomery was approached by Alan Kirk of Ark Media who will be the sponsor of the BSML Division One to Three for season 2012.

Ark Media was set up in 2004 by Ballymena- based cameraman and Producer Alan Kirk to facilitate his freelance filming and production business. Ark Media is now fast growing multi-disciplined professional networks who collaborate on all types of media projects covering TV/DVD Production, website and Ecommerce. Photography, radio and Audi production. Alan travels all over the world and his clients include Sky TV, UTV, BBC, Sky Sports and many others.

Alan played football for Ballymena United and Waveney Swifts in BSML until having to retire with a bad injury so he is very keen to sponsor the BSML as he continues his other love of sport.

He hopes to help teams from the BSML to use his expertise to promote themselves and to enhance the profile of the BSML.

Secretary Brian Montgomery is delighted to get this important sponsorship especially in the bad financial climate and is confident the partnership will be rewarding for both parties.

Big changes in the three division due to the resignation of Westend Athletic who played the last two years in Division One.

The resignation of Broadway Celtic last season left a vacancy in Division One which has resulted in FC Penarol being promoted to Division One along with the three teams North End who have changed their name to North End Shamrocks, Ahoghill Thistle and Dunloy Athletic who won their way into Division One.

Westend Athletic’s late resignation means that Division One will only have 13 teams participating this season and only two teams relegated. The title looks like a battle between last years winners All Saints OBs, Carniny Rangers and Harryville Homers who all have added to their playing panel during the off-season.

Division Two has relegated teams Ballykeel and Abbeyview and they look capable of bouncing back to Division One at the first attempt.

The newly promoted teams Inver Athletic, Cushendall, Atletico Antrim, Braid United and Galgorm Blues will add to the strength of the Division. Other challengers are likely to be Cloughmills Thistle, FC Antrim,Carnlough Swifts and Cullybackey Olympic.

Division Three has two new teams FC Bayern Money and Glenravel. FC Bayern Money are from Ballymoney and will play their home games at Dervock. Glenravel have been in the League 15 years ago and with Joe Burrell managing them they will be a threat.

Relegated Waveney Swifts Connor and St Comgalls will be the favourites to win the title but will have major challengers in Newpark Olympic, Linafillan Swifts and Raceview Athletic now managed by Philip McBurney ex Harryville Homers and Raceview player.

For a full list of fixtures for the week ahead, see this week’s Ballymena Times.