Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Time was right for 'no brainer' move to Glenavon, says Stephen Murray

By Gareth Hanna

It's never too late to begin your personal quest for senior Irish League honours.

At least that's the hope of Glenavon new-boy Stephen Murray. At 29, he's going to get his first taste of a drive towards European football over the coming months.

That, he says, was the reason behind his move from Warrenpoint to Mourneview Park - a transfer that had been heavily-mooted over the last few windows and one he had previously been in no hurry to make.

"There have been a few rumours," he admitted. "This time it was just right. I was happy enough to stay at Warrenpoint. They gave me my shot at the Irish League and unfortunately we went down. Winning the Championship and playing another half-season in the Premiership for them was great.

"I'm getting on a wee bit now and I want to be challenging up at the top for trophies and playing in Europe. It was a no brainer, really.

"I came in to Glenavon and getting into the team was the main target. I did that rather quickly so as long as we can push to Europe or silverware with an Irish Cup run, I'll be happy."

The former Armagh striker has played only one and a half seasons of Premiership football in his career so far but, seven games and two goals into his career in Lurgan, hopes are high that Murray could be the partner Andrew Mitchell has been waiting for.

"(Mitchell) is great to play with," he said. "He's a lot like me. He can hold the ball up and enjoys running channels, like me. If I get a bit of space, I know where he is. He'll always be in the box ready for the ball in, I'm just trying to do the opposite to him. It's starting off well anyway."

Murray started alongside Mitchell in Saturday's thrilling 1-1 draw in Coleraine. The post-match chat was dominated by refereeing controversy as Glenavon, Murray included, felt hard-done-by after Mark Sykes' late dismissal.

"Was it even a free-kick?" queried Murray. "The referee and linesman saw the two feet come out but it wasn't malicious. I think a free-kick was sufficient and maybe a yellow but the red was outrageous, to be honest."

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