Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon deserve a Euro trip: Hamilton


Top boss: Gary Hamilton collects the award from NIFWA Chairman Keith Bailie
Top boss: Gary Hamilton collects the award from NIFWA Chairman Keith Bailie

By Graham Luney

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton has admitted he's not a fan of the end-of-season play-offs to secure European football and he feels it would be a cruel twist of fate if his men finish the campaign without a handsome reward for their consistency.

Amidst Linfield's return to the Danske Bank Premiership summit, Ballymena United's sensational second-place finish and Ballinamallard United's progress to the Irish Cup final, the Lurgan Blues' club record points total of 70 isn't getting the recognition it deserves.

It's a fourth top-three finish in five seasons for the Mourneview Park men but it may not even be enough to secure European football due to the play-off battles for a Europa League place.

Hamilton has been named NIFWA Manager of the Month for April, his third award of the season, but a European prize is the one he's targeting the most.

"I don't agree with the play-offs, I think they are unfair on the club that finishes third after a tremendous season," said Hamilton, who has had to deal with the loss of Bobby Burns and Mark Sykes.

"I'm delighted to win this award for a third time this season. It probably sums up our season which has consisted of some great runs of form and then disappointing patches. The boys were superb in April and this award is a recognition of their achievements. We can look to the play-offs with confidence."

If the Crues win the Irish Cup, Glenavon will be at home to Glentoran in the play-offs.

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If Ballinamallard triumph and receive a Uefa licence, the Lurgan men will be at home to Coleraine or Glentoran.

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