Belfast Telegraph

Hamilton: Best to come from Marron

By Steven Beacom

Caolan Marron is the latest whizzkid from the Glenavon production line, with manager Gary Hamilton insisting the defender has everything going for him.

Marron, 20, made his debut for the Lurgan Blues two years ago and is now a regular alongside other young talents Mark Sykes, James Singleton and Rhys Marshall, who were all blooded early and showed their capabilities.

The centre-back impressed in the 1-0 opening day defeat at home to Linfield and followed that up with another fine performance in the 4-2 away win at Warrenpoint.

Hamilton will want that form to continue away to Newry City on Friday night, believing Marron has the potential to follow Hearts star Bobby Burns from Mourneview Park to the professional ranks.

"Caolan Marron is excellent," said Hamilton. "He has broken into the team as a young centre-back and has played a lot of games for us now and he is getting better and better.

"In the next couple of years he could move on because he has every attribute you would want in a centre-half."

Hamilton expects a testing tussle against Newry, who beat Dungannon Swifts 2-1 in their first home game of the season last Friday.

"They are new into the league and got a great result against Dungannon, so we'll have to be on our game for them because it will be tough," said the Glenavon boss, whose side beat Newry 3-1 in last season's Mid Ulster Cup final.

"We do our homework on every team. I've been impressed with Declan Carville in midfield.

"There's also Stephen Hughes, who has been about for a long time but he can still play and is an intelligent footballer.

"They are a good side - the Mid Ulster Cup final last season showed us that."

On Newry boss Darren Mullen, who has famously inspired his side to the Irish Premiership after four promotions in five years, Hamilton said: "He's done an incredible job.

"There must be something in the air there because Barry Gray did something similar with Warrenpoint bringing them right through to the top flight.

"Newry have done exactly the same. It's a great achievement. He is someone I respect and would speak to every now and again but that doesn't come into it on Friday because we will be going there looking for a win."

Glenavon, meanwhile, have signed 21-year-old left-sided defender/midfielder Ben Doherty on loan from Derry City, initially until January when the League of Ireland clubs begin pre-season preparations.

The 21-year-old is also a Northern Ireland Under-21 international, having made three appearances in the Under-21 European qualifiers.

He joined Derry from Institute, for whom he made 11 appearances at the Riverside, and went on to play 47 times for the Candystripes.

Doherty is unlikely to be available for his team's visit to the Newry Showgrounds as the club await international clearance for him, but he should be available for the following home game against Ballymena United on 24 August.

"Ben wasn't getting as much game time at Derry as he wanted and he wanted to get out on loan and experience something different," said Hamilton.

"For his development it'll be great as well because he's coming down to a new league which he will have experience up until January.

"He's somebody that will enhance the squad and stake a claim for a place in the team.

"He'll have to wait his turn as the boys are doing quite well at the minute but when his chance comes it's up to him to keep his place."

Belfast Telegraph

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