Belfast Telegraph

Mitchell 'can net full-time move by shining for Lurgan'

By Alex Mills

Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree believes Andrew Mitchell's move to Glenavon next season could be a stepping stone to a full-time career. The 23-year-old's goalscoring exploits made him a target for a number of clubs, including Linfield, but he opted to sign a pre-contract agreement with his hometown club back in January.

With the Swifts in pole position to claim a place in the European play-offs - they sit seventh in the Danske Bank Premiership table - McAree is hoping Mitchell will go out on a high.

"Andrew has matured greatly this season," said McAree. "He has all the attributes to become a top-class striker. He's strong, fast and he knows where the goal is. He even stays behind after training to do a bit more work.

"Andrew has earned his move and I've no doubt he'll be a big hit at Glenavon, but I reckon he could even go on to bigger and better things across the water."

McAree is banking on Mitchell, who has hit 22 league goals this season, to strike it rich when Gary Haveron's Glentoran arrive at Stangmore Park on Saturday.

The ailing Belfast side are only one point adrift of the Swifts and are also vying for the play-offs.

"It's a big game for both clubs," added McAree. "A win would give us breathing space.

"But Glentoran will be thinking it's a big chance for them. They may have had a disappointing season, but they have a lot of quality players in their squad.

"I was very disappointed with our performance against Ards last Saturday. I don't know whether it was a carry over from our Irish Cup semi-final defeat, but we were a long way off it.

"So, we have a big incentive to put things right this week. If you get into the Euro qualifiers, anything can happen."

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