Visitors programme article

Posted : 22nd December 2018 at 00:05:35

Gary Hamilton's Glenavon travel to Windsor Park this afternoon just one point behind Linfield and will be aiming to leapfrog The Blues into second place.

After a run of just one win from six league outings, the Lurgan Blues got back to winning ways with a morale-boosting victory over Coleraine in front of the TV cameras.

One man in particular who was influential as ever in that victory was Mark Sykes. Talented youngster Sykes scored on the night and has been in the headlines recently after Glenavon agreed a transfer fee with Port Vale for his transfer to the 'Sky Bet League Two' outfit.

If things go well, perhaps the next time the young energetic midfielder plays at Windsor Park will be on the international stage, representing Northern Ireland and following in the footpath of recent Irish League products Paul Smyth and Gavin Whyte.

The move is subject to personal terms and a medical according to manager Gary Hamilton and he will leave a void when he departs to chase his dream in professional football.

Glenavon as a club and particularly Gary Hamilton, like to put faith in young players. Bobby Burns and Robbie McDaid also made the move across from Glenavon after breaking through at a young age and there's a possibility that more of their current team could follow suit. Indeed, young defender Caolan Marron was recently hailed by Hamilton as the best defender he's seen in his 15+ years in the Irish League - high praise indeed.

Added to the talented young guns is experienced players like former Linfield goalkeeper Jonathan Tuffey and midfielder Sammy Clingan.

Glenavon can take hope and confidence into today's game in the fact that they emerged victorious on their two visits to Windsor Park last campaign. Often teams benefit from having home advantage, but for whatever reason, it has been quite the opposite in recent fixtures between the two - including Linfield's 1-0 win when the two teams met at Mourneview Park on the opening day of the season.

Gary Hamilton celebrated seven years in charge of the Lurgan Blues last Saturday and he has turned the fortunes of the club around considerably. From fighting relegation when he walked in, the former Irish League striker has guided Glenavon to two Irish Cup successes and regularly qualifying for the Europa League. He will no doubt hope to go one better and win a league title at some stage and with a very open title race anticipated this season, the Lurgan Blues will hope to remain in the mix as long as possible following a strong start to the season.

Goalkeepers

1 Jonny Tuffey
18 James Taylor
31 Jack Hazard

Defenders

4 Caolan Marron
3 Dylan King
8 Rhys Marshall
5 Andrew Doyle
19 Daniel Larmour
27 James Singleton

Midfielders

7 Josh Daniels
6 Niall Grace
14 Paddy Burns
10 Mark Sykes
21 Jack O'Mahony (On loan at Welders)
20 Conor McCloskey
22 Robbie Norton (On loan at Warrenpoint)
23 Gary Muir
15 Aaron Harmon
11 Andy Hall
16 Sammy Clingan
17 Shea Geraghty

Forwards

9 Andrew Mitchell
80 Gary Hamilton (Player/Manager)
24 Stephen Murray
12 Steo Donnelly
30 Jordan Jenkins
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