The bottom two clubs in the Carling Premiership are level on points as they face off against each other tomorrow at Mourneview Park when Glenavon hosts Lisburn Distillery.
Gary Hamilton doesn’t want to put any added pressure on his players. “It’s a massive game, everyone realizes that of course but my philosophy will always be to encourage the players to go out and express themselves. There’s no point playing like we did against Linfield, Portadown and Crusaders if we don’t show the same work rate, attitude and commitment in every game. When we put in a determined effort, show the desire to compete and win the battle then we can bring our ability into the game and then we should win more games than we lose.
“With three or four new faces to freshen things up and add a bit of competition for places there is an extra buzz about the place and in training tackles were flying in and everyone was giving 100% on Tuesday and Thursday night.”
Gary reckons he has uncovered a gem in the youth team ranks. “Matty Moffett will be joining the squad tomorrow. He’s a 17 or 18 year old central midfielder, though he could play at right back or maybe even at centre back. I’ve watched him in the Reserves and I was very impressed,” enthused the Glenavon boss who is certainly looking forward to getting involved on the park himself tomorrow. His 19 goals in 31 appearances during his loan spell last season were vital in steering Glenavon clear of the relegation zone.
Jonny Magee and Conor Hagan miss out with hamstring and calf injuries sustained in last week’s defeat to Linfield but on-loan defender Kris Lindsay will fill the vacant centre back slot and Brian McCaul is likely to make his debut in place of Hagan. Tony Grant returns for his third spell at Glenavon and will wear the number 99 shirt, keen to add to the 116 goals he scored in his previous two spells at the Club.
Distillery’s Pat McShane is suspended having picked up five cautions. John Cunningham’s team will be boosted by their first win last week since he took over in November and former Glenavon striker Gary Liggett is in a good vein of form, scoring a hat trick in last week’s home victory against Carrick.
Gary confirmed that some of the younger Glenavon squad players would be going out on loan spells to gain regular first team football at a higher level than the Reserve League provides. “With no disrespect to the Reserve League, it’s not the best way to develop players in the 19-20 years age group. It would be better suited to developing the 16-18 year olds, in my opinion.
“Letting these lads go on loan where they will be playing competitive football at a decent level will give them the chance to impress me and we can see how they’ve got on at the end of the season.”
Joe Finlay (Ards), Mark Carson (Loughgall) and Fra Brennan (Lurgan Celtic) have completed loan deals and Gary expects David Magee to also conclude a loan move to Ards in the near future.
Reminder: Tickets for next Saturday’s all-ticket Irish Cup game v Portadown will be on sale from 1:30 pm tomorrow at the main Office in Mourneview Park. Season ticket holders are reminded that they are required to purchase a ticket as season tickets are not valid for Cup games.
Glenavon Football Club today issued the following statement which we bring to the attention of all supporters at Mourneview Park …
“All supporters are reminded ahead of tomorrow’s game that alcohol, glass containers and glass bottles are prohibited from public areas within Mourneview Park. Due to the disturbance on Boxing Day, from now on all tins/plastic bottles of drink will also be banned from the Crescent Stand. In accordance with our European and Domestic licences inappropriate banners and emblems are prohibited from being brought into the ground on match days.
Trained search/security personnel are being drafted into the ground to search spectators for any of the prohibited items detailed above. Any person found in possession of the aforementioned prohibited items will be escorted from the ground and face further disciplinary action from the club.
Glenavon FC is determined that the irresponsible actions of a minority will not be allowed to jeopardise our club status and the excellent reputation of our supporters. We ask for your co-operation in advance.”
From: Doherty Grant Grieve Hamilton Henderson Jay Magee Lavery Lindsay McCaul McGonnell Miskimmin Neill O’Hare Shannon Turkington Moffett
Match Officials: A. Hunter, J. Eakin, M. Adamson, W. Campbell
Mr Fred Shields
An anonymous supporter
Man of the Match Sponsor