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New era for Under 20's
Uploaded Thursday, 6th Jun, 2019 at 18:51

THIS season will see a new era begin for U20's football at Ballymena United as a new coaching team takes over the running of the 'reserve' team.
The man who meets all the right criteria, in the eyes of David Jeffrey and Bryan McLoughlin, to lead the new set up is the highly experienced John Spence. The East Belfast PE teacher has had 35 years in local football as a player and a coach - he has led youth football in Ashfield Boys, a school steeped in school football tradition, for over 20 years as well as time with Glentoran youth and reserves. He is also currently in the Northern Ireland U19's International set up having served 8 years previously as U18's NI assistant manager.
Spence, a qualified UEFA A Licence coach, also boasts football pedigree, being the son of the late great Glentoran scout Billy Spence, who was renowned for bringing talent to the East Belfast club for over four decades.
He brings with him his coaching team of Jonathan (Jo) McColgan and Stephen Watters and retains the services of local coach Richard McClean.
McColgan played local football and rugby for 14 years, and has been involved in schools and youth football for the past 30 years. As the current principal of Ashfield Boys High School, he is at the forefront of the school opening a new football academy, supported by the Irish FA.
Watters has a strong background in grassroots football, coaching at Dungoyne Boys with Paul Leeman. Alongside starting his UEFA B licence he then moved into senior management with East Belfast Ladies winning two NIWFA League titles, the League cup, runner up in the county Antrim women's cup and became the national Futsal champions en route to winning Belfast sports team of the year at the Belfast City Council Sports Awards in 2018.
David Jeffrey was delighted to complete his staff team on the eve of pre-season training, "we looked around based on who was available that would meet the criteria and John Spence ticked the boxes twice over. We know as managers that when players choose to come here over other clubs it is gratifying, and it's the same with these men coming here to nurture our young men into senior players - other clubs approached John for his services but he's been someone who was on our radar for some time. His father was a dear friend of mine and this is partly like John taking the baton and continuing a similar journey to that of his father and Bryan and I are absolutely delighted that he has chosen to do that here."
Joe McCall with Steven Watters, John Spence, Jonathan McColgan, Richard McClean
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