Belfast Telegraph

Football: Glenavon ditch Kelly and Nige

By Jim Gracey

VETERAN defender Nigel Quigley and midfielder Norman Kelly were last night both heading for the door marked exit at Mourneview Park.

VETERAN defender Nigel Quigley and midfielder Norman Kelly were last night both heading for the door marked exit at Mourneview Park.

After days of speculation it now looks certain that both have played their last games in a Glenavon jersey.

The Lurgan outfit are expected to make a statement within the next couple of days announcing their intention to release both players from their contracts.

Kelly, who arrived from Linfield in the close season, has so far failed to establish himself in the Glenavon starting line-up and recently made himself unavailable for selection having just taken over as general manager of the new outdoor ice rink at the Odyssey complex in Belfast.

He did report for training on Thursday night but that, club sources suggest, was only because he 'got wind' of the action being planned.

He was available but not selected for yesterday's game against Crusaders.

Kelly carried over a suspension from last season and took some time to get going but was then ordered off in the match against Omagh Town forcing him to miss the game at Institute as Glenavon struggled for points.

He was not available for last week's showdown with Linfield at Windsor Park due to work commitments and that set the alarm bells ringing.

It also provided cash-conscious Glenavon chiefs with a chance to get the player off their wage bill.

Quigley, in his second spell with the club, has been dogged by injury since arriving from Coleraine and in his absence teenagers Kevin Henry and Conor Larkin have suddenly leapfrogged him in the pecking order in the battle to partner John Devine in the heart of defence.

Glenavon officials were last night maintaining a diplomatic silence but another source said: "Let's just wait and see what happens."

l PROMISING teenage star Kevin Henry has finally committed his future to Glenavon by signing a new contract which keeps him at Mourneview Park for another 12 months.

Manager Colm Malone is delighted and says: "The lad's potential is there for all to see. Against Linfield last week he played in the heart of our defence alongside John Devine and was outstanding.

"He was facing Glenn Ferguson and David Larmour who are widely recognised as two of the most lethal finishers in the game here yet he hardly put a foot wrong.

"I think it was more than just a coincidence that Ferguson didn't score and Larmour was taken off.

"Kevin is still only 17 yet he plays with a maturity far beyond his years and I'm confident he'll develop into the complete footballer.

"Further down the line I can see him forming a formidable central defensive partnership with Conor Larkin, another lad of just 17.

Another of Malone's up-and-coming starlets is striker Paul Keenan who played as a sub against Linfield and yes, he's only 17 as well!

l An Extraordinary Meeting of Glenavon shareholders has been called for Thursday, December 12 at 8.00pm in the Mourneview boardroom to consider creating 5000 new shares at £100 each.

lGlenavon's twice postponed Irish League match against Glentoran has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 10.

Belfast Telegraph

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