Bally is back in the game

Last updated : 04 February 2003 By Tony Scholes
Although Bally joined the Clarets from Fulham he had previously played ten years for Sunderland and it is back to the Stadium of Light where the former midfielder will return next week to join the coaching staff.

There is no doubt that his very presence will give the Mackems a boost, so much is he adored by the Wearside crowd, and they certainly need a boost just now having dropped to the bottom of the Premiership.

Last season, whilst still a Claret, he made the half time draw at a Sunderland game with the score at 0-0. They came out and scored twice early in the second half with Bally getting the credit for lifting the crowd.

He will primarily work with the youngsters although there will be some work with the first team. Manager Howard Wilkinson said of the appointment,

"We've been understaffed in the coaching department since I arrived here and Kevin will come in and help out. He'll start on Monday.

"Being a coach is a lot different to being a player but you cannot get to the top in coaching without a passion and enthusiasm for the game, and Kevin's got that.

"He will work with the young pros here but also will help out elsewhere and lighten the load when required."

This has been planned for some time and talks began back in November of last year. I suspect the new coach will get a warm welcome from the crowd at the next home game.

Bally was a Claret for two years and his retirement as a player was brought forward when he was somewhat surprisingly released by the Clarets.

Clarets Mad would like to wish him well in his new career.