UK news Kofi Balmer can fly high with Crystal Palace, says Stephen Craigan last news
PremierLeague-News.Com - Stephen Craigan has backed Kofi Balmer to take his career to new heights when he joins the Eagles.
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! "Stephen Craigan has backed Kofi Balmer to take his career to new heights when he joins the Eagles. The Larne defender is understood to be tying up a deal with the Premier League side after a fee was agreed.A move to Patrick Vieira’s side will be an incredible opportunity for the popular 21-year-old to further his club and international career.Balmer, who has yet to make his Northern Ireland senior debut, has 11 Under-21 caps under his belt and has no shortage of Irish League experience having played 134 times for Larne and Ballymena United.Former Northern Ireland defender Craigan believes Balmer has the attributes and attitude to make it in the Premier League.“I really like Kofi as a player and this will be a brilliant move for him,” said Craigan, who won 54 caps.“So many players don’t go across at the age of 16 or 17 and they think they won’t make it in the full-time game but there is now a way to do it in Northern Ireland.“Some of our clubs are full-time and you can play in big games. He’s moved from Ballymena United to Larne and now Palace which shows you the pathway is there.“The challenge for the lads is can they progress and play in the first team and play in the Premier League? That will take time but the players can’t accept just being a number in a squad — push on and get in the first team. The more players we have in the first teams the better it will be for our international team. Kofi needs to keep pushing the boundaries and I’m confident he will do that.“He’s got the right attitude to be successful and I always feel that when you work your way up it makes you more appreciative when you get there. You’ve put the hard yards in, he’s had his appetite whetted and now he can push on.“We don’t have enough players at international level playing first-team football and we need that to change.
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.“This is more evidence of how strong the Irish League is and the young talent that is coming through.”Balmer was instrumental to leading the Inver Reds into Europe last season, producing quality performances in their defence to lead them to victory over Glentoran in the end-of-season play-off, and making 41 appearances in all.Capable of playing across the defence but primarily at centre-back, Balmer will provide significant depth for Palace boss Vieira, although it is not clear what plans the Eagles chief has for his new signing.Palace do have a history of bringing through young talent at Selhurst Park, with the likes of Eberechi Eze and Marc Guéhi proving to be outstanding players to progress through the ranks.“Our academies back home are becoming more successful in terms of cross-channel clubs showing an interest,” added Craigan.“We have seen the importance of the youth tournaments in showcasing talent and the Irish League is great at that.“Kofi has had great coaching which has got him this far and now he can take this opportunity with both hands and take his game to the next level.“Dedicate your career and life to being a full-time football player. He’s taken the right step, now don’t just admire where you are, push on and ruffle a few feathers. Show the manager what you can do.”Balmer has two years left on his current contract at Larne, but looks set to become Palace’s second arrival of the summer following the signing of Chris Richards from Bayern Munich.Earlier this season, manager Tiernan Lynch said that Balmer is a “phenomenal” player.“Kofi is a phenomenal kid. For someone so young to be as wise and brave as he is, is a great credit to him and his family,” said Lynch." ,"isAccessibleForFree": "True" }
Source = PremierLeague-News.Com