Former Ballymena United manager Roy Walker feels current boss David Jeffrey has added “energy and vibrancy” with the summer signings.
Jeffrey’s work on reshaping his Showgrounds squad has led to deals for Ryan Mayse, Adam Lecky, Jonathan Addis, Shane McGinty, James Knowles, Reece Glendinning, Jude Winchester and Andy McGrory.
“The number of arrivals coincides with players departing so David has thought that the balance wasn’t right and those players will give that energy and vibrancy,” said Walker, who was Sky Blues boss from 2008 to 2011. “McGrory is a very accomplished player that can change a game, he will be an exciting addition.
“Winchester is the heartbeat of the team in midfield, neat and tidy so signed as the glue that will hold the team together.
“I watched Mayse at the League Cup final and liked his energy, plus the fact he could play wide or tucked in behind the striker.
“Addis is a good pro, a very solid player.
“It looks well for Ballymena, David has signed well and added balance to the team.
“Where he has lost players, David has replaced them with at least parity if not better.
We regard the league as being the bread-and-butter and I think if they finish in the top six it will still be success because the teams above Ballymena have also made good signings.”
Walker, however, was disappointed to see Gary Thompson head out the Ballymena United exit door - but is tipping him to progress at Crusaders.
“Many people undervalue Gary, fans maybe don’t see the work that he does,” said Walker. “The problem with Gary is his tenacity and style of play mean he picks up his fair share of knocks and missed more of last season than he should have overall.
“But to sign a deal with the league champions shows they value him and the work-rate and experience make it a good move for Crusaders.
“Hopefully his combative style allows him to stay clear of injuries and he is a player Ballymena probably would have wanted to keep at the club.”