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Gary Hamilton hails Glenavon's 'outstanding' new goalkeeper Craig Hyland

 

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Craig Hyland has settled in well after moving to Mourneview Park in January.

Craig Hyland has settled in well after moving to Mourneview Park in January.

PMAKER

Craig Hyland has settled in well after moving to Mourneview Park in January.

Conor McCloskey may be the man with the magic feet for Glenavon but boss Gary Hamilton is heartened by his side's industry and intelligence at the back.

McCloskey's sweet strike in the 90th minute bagged a huge win against Crusaders at Seaview on Saturday but it was also their first clean sheet in the Premiership since a 2-0 win at Ballymena United on November 10.

Goalkeeper Craig Hyland pulled off a sensational save in added time to prevent Chris Hegarty's header from earning the Crues a point and, while McCloskey understandably grabbed the headlines, Hamilton is hoping his rearguard will continue to shine against familiar foes Carrick Rangers at Mourneview Park tonight.

When asked about his centre-back pairing of Andrew Doyle and Colin Coates, Hamilton said: "The two were exceptional and marshalled Jordan Owens very well. That's no mean feat because Jordan is the best in the league at what he does. If you could have any player in the league, Jordan would be one because he is so effective at what he does. He's such a big player for Crusaders."

While Glenavon's former keeper Jonny Tuffey is adjusting to life at Seaview, Hyland is proving a steadying influence for the Lurgan Blues.

"Craig has been outstanding for us. For someone who hasn't played for five months he's come in and been brilliant for us and he's getting better every week," added Hamilton.

"He's getting sharper and fitter and his late save earned us the win instead of a draw. It's an incredible save, we nearly threw it away but thankfully we didn't.

"He took a lot of good crosses and he's been doing that for us. It gives the defence and team confidence when you have a keeper who comes out and takes balls from crosses.

"I go back to Roy Carroll in the two years Linfield won the league. With Roy coming out and commanding his area, I thought he was a big reason why they won titles.

"To be fair to Craig, he isn't as big as Roy but he's prepared to come out and take the ball out of the air. He throws early and sets up attacks, I'm really pleased with him and the boys who came in in January."

Belfast Telegraph


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