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Lurgan Blues will get best of me: Mitchell

By Graham Luney

Goal machine Andrew Mitchell has promised Glenavon fans the best is yet to come from him after signing a pre-contract agreement with the Lurgan side yesterday.

The Dungannon Swifts striker is the Premiership's leading goalscorer with 19 strikes and he plans to bring his shooting boots to Mourneview Park this summer.

Crusaders and Linfield were both keen to net the hitman but he opted to return to the club where he honed his skills as a teenager.

It was a perfect early birthday present for the striker who turns 23 tomorrow and this three-year deal allows him the opportunity to fire his boyhood club to silverware from next season.

"Hopefully the best is still to come from me, I'm just about to turn 23 so I have got plenty of years left to keep improving," said Mitchell. "Next season I will be looking to improve and score more goals. I feel I can continue to progress."

“I’m very happy to sign for Glenavon but I also think it’s important that I don’t forget I have an important job to do for the Swifts for the rest of the season and hopefully I can fire them up the table and hopefully do well in the Irish Cup or even qualify for Europe.

“But this is an exciting chapter in my career and I’m looking forward to continuing to progress as a footballer with Glenavon.”

Dungannon Swifts boss Rodney McAree has been resigned to losing the striker who also plays cricket for Waringstown in the summer.

Mitchell has loved his spell with the Swifts and he will leave Stangmore Park with a heavy heart but he couldn’t resist the lure of pulling on the Glenavon shirt again.

“Glenavon are a club that mean a lot to me,” he added. “I know I was there before and things didn’t work out but hopefully this time I can really enjoy my time there.

“It’s always flattering when there is interest in you and I had the opportunity to talk to two men in Stephen Baxter (Crusaders manager) and David Healy (Linfield boss) who I have great respect for. But Glenavon are my hometown club and this was an opportunity I could not turn down.

“It’s a move that I wanted to happen and I hope I can play a part in helping Glenavon win more silverware.”

Mitchell added: “My granddad and dad have supported Glenavon for many years. My own first memory is watching Glenavon in the UEFA Cup against Kilmarnock.

“Rodney (McAree) has been absolutely fantastic and everybody at Dungannon Swifts has been very supportive.

“It’s been a very difficult decision to make over the last wee while but joining my boyhood club and the team I supported as a kid is an absolute dream and I’m really looking forward to getting back to Mourneview and playing from the start of next season,” he added.

Lurgan Blues boss Gary Hamilton said: “Clearly I’m delighted to have Andrew sign this pre-contract agreement and I’m sure the supporters can’t wait to see him in action next season.”

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