So much to come from Gary, says Glentoran boss McDonald
Alan McDonald is expecting to get even more out of Gary Hamilton over the next three-and-a-half years.
Glentoran sealed a new contract with their star striker at the weekend, which will see him stay at the Oval until 2012.
Having turned 28 earlier this month, Hamilton will now spend the best years of his career with the east-Belfast outfit.
And McDonald can’t wait to see his top man score more and more goals.
“I don’t see any reason why Gary Hamilton won’t become a better player than he already is,” said McDonald.
“Gary has been scoring goals on a regular basis so far this season and the great thing about him is that he contributes to the team as well.
“I have worked with him a lot since I started coaching the Northern Ireland under-21 team and have always enjoyed it.
“Some people see working with Gary as a challenge, I have never thought of it that way because in all that time he has never caused me a problem.
“He is a natural goalscorer and in my opinion the most natural goalscorer in the league.”
Hamilton’s immediate target will be to help Glentoran lift the Setanta Sports Cup when they take on Cork City in the final at Turner’s Cross on Saturday night.
Then, he will set his sights on righting a wrong.
Since joining the Glens in the summer of 2006 Hamilton has yet to win either the Irish League Championship or the Irish Cup — and that will now be paramount in his thoughts.
He was on the scoresheet against Glenavon on Saturday as the Glens maintained their single point lead at the top of the Irish FA Premiership, while Andy Waterworth struck his first goal in Glentoran colours.
“It’s not that Gary Hamilton and Michael Halliday were playing badly before Andy came, but his presence has led to them playing even better,” said McDonald.
“Now Andy is scoring goals too and having three strikers in-form and fighting it out for two places in the team is healthy for any club.”