Our club profile series for the 2019/20 Irish League season has reached it’s first top 6 club: Glenavon. Consecutive third-placed finishes may prove to be the ceiling for Glenavon. More of the same and a return to cup success will be Hamilton’s main aim this season.
|Glentoran||Friday 9th August||Home|
|Cliftonville||Tuesday 13th August||Away|
|Warrenpoint Town||Saturday 17th August||Home|
|Dungannon Swifts||Saturday 24th August||Away|
|Coleraine||Saturday 30th August||Home|
|Carrick Rangers||Saturday 7th August||Home|
As has come to be expected, Glenavon contested a typically competitive season securing 70 points. A total of 74 goals was bettered only by Linfield and Ballymena while 46 goals against was bettered only by Champions Linfield. Early season form saw Glenavon lay a marker for the title by winning 10 of their first 11 games, only a 1-1 draw with Glentoran blemished their record. Despite standout performances against Coleraine, Crusaders and Linfield, a loss of form from December to mid-February ultimately undercut the Lurgan men’s charge for the title.
Matthew Ferguson, the 23-year-old son of Irish League legend Glenn Ferguson, has been drafted in by Gary Hamilton to bolster the Glenavon front-line. Last season saw the striker score 6 goals in his first 5 appearances for Harland and Wolff Welders – Glenavon will be hoping he can get off to another blistering start this time out. In addition to this, wide-man Tommy Cooney has been confirmed on a one-year deal. Boss Hamilton has also secured contract extensions throughout the squad including Jordan Jenkins, James Taylor and left-back James Singleton. Conor Byrne has moved to Dungannon Swifts while Cameron Stewart’s loan spell concluded at the end of last season. Chairman Adrian Teer revealed two bids for right-back Rhys Marshall have been rejected this summer.
Now in his eighth year as Glenavon player-manager, Gary Hamilton is regarded as the league’s best young manager. Once again registered as a player this season, Hamilton has delivered two Irish Cups in his role, the first trophies secured by the Lurgan Blues since the Gold Cup in 1997-98. Glenavon have also secured consecutive Mid-Ulster Cups in the previous two seasons. A manager renowned for developing young talent, Hamilton has cultivated a strong squad throughout his tenure at Glenavon.
While Glenavon have shown themselves to be a top-side in the Irish Premiership for many consecutive seasons, the Championship has eluded them thus far. While sides around them have improved considerably over the summer, Glenavon will once again be turning toward youth to bolster the squad for this season. A third consecutive 3rd place finish would be a success for Glenavon this season, but it may prove out of their grasp this time out.
If you fancy Glenavon to make a run at the title this season they are available at 16/1. Individual top goalscorer odds are available for both Andrew Mitchell at 20/1 and Stephen Murray at 25/1. Odds are available in store or via our dial-a-bet service.
Check out all of our Irish League odds here, and join us again tomorrow for the next in our club profile series: Glentoran.