McCall ‘shocked and disappointed’

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JOE McCall says he is shocked at the decision of Ballymoney United to dispense with his services as manager just three league games into the season.

The two parted ways on Saturday following Ballymoney’s defeat to Immaculata in the Steel and Sons Cup on Thursday evening which came on the back of one draw and two defeats in the opening games of the IFA Championship 2 campaign.

Despite the disappointing results, McCall told Times Sport on Friday he was confident he was the man to turn things around.

However 24 hours later the curtain was brought down on his five year tenure at Ballymoney.

“I’m shocked and disappointed,” he said on Monday.

“I felt it was done a bit hastily, just three league games into a season.

“The league isn’t won or lost in August.

“I feel we have had a lot of injuries both last year and this year which hasn’t helped the situation.

“At the end of the day it’s their prerogative to do what is right for their club.

“I would like to thank the club and the committee chairman for giving me the opportunity to manage the club.

“They are a family club, they are nice people, and I wish them all the best for the future.”

McCall said he will depart the club with fond memories.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said.

“I think I’ve helped the club progress.

“I think they are in a better position now than when I took over and at the end of the day I suppose you look at it and ask ‘Have I improved the club?’ Yes I have. ‘Have you improved the players?’ I feel the answer to that is yes.

“I don’t think whoever comes in will change things radically, the way the team plays and the personnel that are there now.”

Ballymoney are keen to have a new manager in place this week with Rasharkin United boss Chris Peacock understood to be the number one target.

Should he get the nod he will be racing against the clock if he wishes to bring new faces into the club with the transfer window slamming closed this Wednesday.

In a statement Ballymoney United said: “Ballymoney United Football Club can confirm that Joe McCall has parted company with the club.

“The Chairman and committee would like to thank Joe for his contribution and achievements since taking over as manager in January 2006, which included winning promotion to IFA Championship 1 and would like to wish him every success in the future.

“However, following relegation to Championship 2 and this season’s poor performances which have included elimination from the Steel & Sons Cup the club feels the time is right to make this change.

“Joe will always be welcomed at Ballymoney United, where he will be given the respect he deserves for all he has done for the club.

“The club will make no further comment on a replacement until we are in a position to make an appointment, which we are committed to doing as quickly as possible.”