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Glenavon swoop to agree a deal with Linfield goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey

By Stuart McKinley

Glenavon have moved quickly to snap up former Linfield goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey, less than a week after he was released by the Blues.

The former Northern Ireland international has signed a two-year contract at Mourneview Park, with the Lurgan Blues beating off competition from Ballymena United to secure Tuffey's signature.

Tuffey is expected to make his debut for the club when Glenavon begin their Europa League campaign on July 2.

He does, however, join an already strong goalkeeping department at Glenavon. Alan Blayney, another former Northern Ireland international, has a year left on his contract and last season's Irish Cup hero James McGrath was first choice for the final games of the season as the club secured their place in Europe.

While Tuffey is manager Gary Hamilton's first new signing in preparation for next season, he has already handed fresh contracts to a number of his first-team squad.

Rhys Marshall, Andy McGrory and Mark Patton have signed on for the next three years, while Kris Lindsay and Kyle Neill have signed 12-month deals.

Meanwhile, Glenavon will host a former Derry City XI, mostly made up of the squad that made it to the first round proper of the Uefa Cup in 2006, where they lost to Paris St Germain after famous victories over IFK Gothenberg and Gretna, in a match to raise funds for Mark Farren.

Farren, who played for both clubs before having his career sadly cut short by cancer, is trying to raise £23,000 to allow him to undergo treatment in Germany.

The match will take place on Thursday May 7 at Mourneview Park (7:45pm) and admission will be £10 for adults, £7 concessions and £5 for children. There will also be a bucket collection.

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