Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Murphy and Rainey will deliver for Glenavon, says Hamilton

Old heads: Gary Hamilton has experience to call on

Gary Hamilton firmly believes that new signings William Murphy and David Rainey can perform more Irish League heroics.

Both players may be in the twilight of their careers but they still have the appetite to grasp more silverware.

Defender Murphy agreed a one-year deal with the Lurgan Blues after being released by Linfield at the end of last season while striker Rainey headed for Mourneview Park after he was deemed surplus to requirements at Crusaders.

Both players are into their 37th year and some observers feel the duo's best days are behind them but Glenavon boss Hamilton is delighted to snap up two legends of the game.

"David Rainey over the last two years has had the best goals per start in the Irish League," said the former Northern Ireland international. "We do stats all the time and I hear people have questioned Winkie's age. Winkie played 44 games for Linfield Football Club last year so his fitness isn't a problem. If you can achieve that number of starts for Linfield I don't see why you cannot play for Glenavon Football Club.

"Linfield are a superior club to us at his moment in time and if you are good enough to play for the Blues week in, week out then that's good enough for me.

"I also think David was very unfortunate not to play more games for Crusaders. His goalscoring ratio is up there with the best and his fitness levels are phenomenal.

"Both players have the attitude and desire to win and that's what we want."

Former Glentoran favourite Hamilton is only 32 and he's the youngest manager in the top flight but he has no plans to hang up his boots just yet.

"Thankfully I've got through pre-season this year with no problems and hopefully I'll steer clear of injury," he said.

"Last year I was struggling from a very early part of it and it showed. Hopefully I'll be able to get myself involved in a lot more games. I haven't found any difficulties in my dual role. My big disappointment is not being fit enough to contribute in the way I want but that happens sometimes."

Hamilton has been busy this summer with Shane McCabe his newest recruit. Right-back Gareth McKeown is another superb addition.

"We have experience and belief in the team too," added Hamilton. "There is a lot more depth to the squad this season and thankfully Shane (McCabe) has agreed to sign too."

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