Belfast Telegraph

Dad comparisons are no bother for new Glenavon ace Matthew Ferguson

 

Glenavon's first summer signing Matthew Ferguson (right) is the son of legendary striker Glenn.
Glenavon's first summer signing Matthew Ferguson (right) is the son of legendary striker Glenn.

By Steven Beacom

New Glenavon striker Matthew Ferguson is relishing the chance to shine on his return to the Irish Premiership and is determined to be his own man at Mourneview Park.

When Ferguson became Gary Hamilton's first signing of the summer on a two-year deal there was much excitement among the supporters - not just due to the fact he has been scoring goals for fun at Championship level lately but also because he is the son of former Lurgan Blues and Linfield great Glenn.

Comparisons to legendary dad 'Spike' are unfair, though Matthew is a strong enough character to deal with them.

What the 23-year-old is most looking forward to at Glenavon is showing what he can do in the top flight, having left Ballymena, where he won the County Antrim Shield, for Dundela three years ago.

From Dundela he would move to Lisburn Distillery, switching from midfield to the striker's role he enjoyed as a kid. That decision worked like a dream.

Last season the east Belfast man scored a highly impressive 30 goals in 32 games for Lisburn Distillery and H&W Welders, who he joined in January.

The campaign before, he netted 23 times for the Whites.

"I had been speaking to other clubs after the Welders had finished their season, but once Glenavon and Gary Hamilton came in for me that's who I wanted to join," revealed Ferguson.

"They had a fantastic season last time finishing third in the Irish Premiership and I'm itching to get started.

"You always want to be playing at the highest level possible and for me to be back in the Irish Premiership again is fantastic.

"Being a fan of the Irish League, you always keep an eye on who is doing well, and Glenavon are always up there challenging. They have quality players with an attacking threat like Joshua Daniels and Andy Hall, Andy Mitchell and Stephen Murray and are a side who create chances.

"They also have a great manager in Gary Hamilton.

"As a player he always stood out and now he is proving himself as a manager.

"I'm looking forward to working with him and learning from him. He's not scared to give people an opportunity.

"Just look at players like Rhys Marshall and James Singleton who have thrived under him in the Irish League."

Ferguson handles the inevitable question about his dad with maturity.

"I've had comparisons all my career and it's one of those things I've learned to deal with," he added.

"I think it annoys my dad more than me because he wants me to be my own man.

"I'm used to it though and I try to do the best for me.

"People will say I'm following in his footsteps but they should also understand I'm creating my own path in Irish League football.

"My dad can advise me off the pitch but what I'm doing on the pitch is down to me.

"I have worked very hard at my game and I'm thankful to have the opportunity to play for a great club like Glenavon."

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