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BBC NI's Jackie Fullerton talks to Kenny Shiels
 real 14k

Tuesday, 2 January, 2001, 10:05 GMT
Shiels new boss at Ballymena
Kenny Shiels
Kenny Shiels is the new manager of Ballymena United
Kenny Shiels has been appointed as the new manager of struggling Ballymena United.

The former Coleraine and Carrick Rangers boss succeeds Nigel Best who was sacked in December.

"This job is a huge challenge for me and I cannpt wait to get started," said Sheils who has agreed a two and a half year deal.

"I recognise the pitfalls bit I believe Ballymena can go far."

Ballymena have had a poor first half of the season and currently lie just one from bottom in the Smirnoff Premiership.

Best's plans were hampered by Ballymena's financial plight.

George Magill
Physio George Magill had been in charge

He was limited in the players he could bring to the club and took a pay cut himself as the County Antrim outfit hit hard times.

Shiels will face similar problems but his first task will be to lift morale at the Showgrounds.

On New Year's Day Ballymena crashed to a 4-0 defeat at Glenavon.

Ballymena's physio George Magill had been in charge of the team since Best's departure on December 8.

After leaving Coleraine in October 1999, Shiels worked wonders at Moyola Park.

The once ailing County Londonderry club now sit proudly at the top of the Second Division, nine points clear of their nearest challengers.

And they recently lifted the North-West's Craig Memorial Cup.

Shiels is a youth development officer for the Irish Football Association and also coaches the Northern Ireland Under 16 squad.

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See also:

08 Dec 00 |  Northern Ireland
Ballymena United sack Best
02 Aug 00 |  Northern Ireland
Shiels favourite to succeed Walker
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