Walker targets more new faces

ROY Walker hopes to bolster his Ballymena United panel with more signings this week.

Monday, 24th May 2010, 3:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st June 2010, 1:30 pm

The Sky Blues boss has persuaded defender Denver Gage to join and hopes to finalise a deal in the next few days to bring Larne goalkeeper Ryan Brown to the Showgrounds.

Clough-based Gage has signed a form and will move when his Ballymoney United contract expires at the end of the month.

"I'm very pleased to sign Denver. I asked three Championship managers to answer me instinctively who the best centre-back they came up against this season and without hesitation, they all said Denver," Walker told Times Sport.

"He is the captain of the Northern Ireland Junior international side and he will bring us physical presence at the back and also from set-pieces.

"Denver is a local lad, he's from a Ballymena United-supporting background and it's win-win as far as I'm concerned.

"As far as Ryan Brown goes, no deal has been signed yet but it is looking favourable for us at this stage.

"Goalkeeper wan't the highest priority position for me to look at but I believe that if I have the opportunity to strengthen the squad, then that's what I should do."

Walker also revealed he is interested in signing Scottish striker Gary McCutcheon, who has been released by Portadown.

It marks a change in direction for the manager who has insisted he would like his side to all be based in the Province but he insists: "McCutcheon is a player I would make an exception for.

"It's not the same situation as the expense in flying in Kevin Kelbie in that McCutcheon lives in Stranraer and comes over as a foot passenger on the boat and he is a proven quality striker.

"From the talks I've had with him, which haven't discussed terms as yet, he would be pre-disposed towards joining us and I would certainly be keen to have him," added Walker, who has also spoken to his Stranraer counterpart Keith Knox with regard to the possibility of a four-team pre-season tournament in Scotland involving United and the hosts, who have also approached Carlisle United and Queen of the South.

SEASON TICKET DISCOUNT

Meanwhile, United are poised to reward their most loyal supporters by offering special discounts to fans to purchase their season tickets early.

While matchday admission prices will rise by 1 from last year, season ticket holders can take advantage of generous discounts of between 20 and 54 per cent - provided they purchase their ticket by July 1.

Also, for the first time ever. supporters will be able to apply for their season ticket online through the official club website www.ballymenaunitedfc.com

Season tickets in this initiative will only be available for purchase on production of a completed application form which supporters can download online or obtain from Stirling Trophies, Queen Street. After July 1, tickets will continue to be on sale but at the regular price.