Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Kevin Braniff raring to go after sealing Glenavon move

Shake on it: Gary Hamilton welcomes new boy Kevin Braniff

Gary Hamilton has pulled off the transfer coup of the summer so far by securing the services of striker Kevin Braniff.

The former Portadown favourite will now be terrorising defences across mid-Ulster in a blue Glenavon jersey.

The two-times capped Northern Ireland international has just returned from Australia where he played for Port Melbourne Sharks and Hamilton won the race for the hitman's signature.

Linfield and Cliftonville were also keen to sign the 31-year-old but Braniff agreed a two-year deal with the Irish Cup winners.

"In my opinion, this is the biggest signing in the league this season," said Hamilton.

"We have two genuine wingers so it's our plan to play Kevin as a striker up front with Guy Bates.

"He could have gone to Linfield so for Glenavon to get him on board is fantastic for the club.

"I'm thrilled and delighted Kevin has joined us."

Braniff left Portadown at the end of January after eight years at Shamrock Park.

A public fall-out with boss Ronnie McFall brought an end to the former Ports captain's spell at the club.

Braniff was made available to other clubs last November after what the Ports termed a "breach of club discipline".

After the dispute, Braniff said he could never play under McFall again.

"I am fit and can't wait to get started," said Braniff.

"I have been very impressed with how Glenavon have progressed under Gary Hamilton and with the players already added to the squad this season, there is no reason why we can't continue to improve.

"Gary and Windy (Paul Millar) painted a great picture and told me what they wanted to do with the club. It's a club going forward and what they achieved last season was impressive in my opinion.

"To come and work under Gary is a big thing for me as well.

"I enjoyed Australia but had to come home for personal reasons and now I am looking forward to the next two years here."

The transfer means Braniff joins former Portadown players Kyle Neill, Kris Lindsay, Gareth McKeown, Mark Patton, Shane McCabe and Hamilton at Mourneview Park.

Having missed out on Braniff, Cliftonville are expected to make a move for Ports striker Darren Murray.

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