Belfast Telegraph

Which Glenavon player is the most under-rated in the Irish League, according to his manager?

He has signed a new contract, as has one of the toughest defenders Gary Hamilton ever played against

By Gareth Hanna

As Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton secured the services of two of his players for a further three seasons, he was full of praise for the 'invaluable members of the squad'.

Centre-half Andrew Doyle and right-winger Andy Hall have both agreed new three year deals and have been given glowing references from the boss.

Former Bangor player Hall has already notched up eight assists for the season so far with his trademark deliveries that have become a real feature of his side's play since his move to the Lurgan Blues in 2015.

And boss Hamilton even reckons he's the divisions most unappreciated talent.

“He’s somebody that I think is probably the most under-rated footballer in the Irish League," the manager told glenavonfc.com. "I know I and the staff at our club think very highly of him and the players who play with him think a lot of him and rate him very highly but, on the whole he doesn’t get the credit that he deserves.

"I would say if you did a statistics survey over the last four or five seasons, if Andy Hall’s not at the top of the list in terms of assists, I’m sure he’s in the top three.

“What he gives us is unbelievable attitude, work rate and unbelievable ability to cross balls into dangerous areas for strikers to go and attack, and his set pieces are superb. He’s not a winger that will beat two or three players, he’s not that type of player, but neither was David Beckham and he was probably one of the best players in the world at that stage, in his position."

Defender Doyle moved to Glenavon in 2016 but made only 14 league starts in his first season at the club. Nevertheless, Hamilton, who has faced many legendary centre-backs during his career, rates the 27 year-old up there with the best of them.

“One of the biggest complements I could pay Doyler is that he’s one of the best defenders that I ever played against in my career," said Hamilton.

"I played against him twice at Ballyclare and twice at Carrick and in those games I always found him one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult, defenders I ever played against.

“Last year when he joined us in pre-season, struggled with his knee a little bit, a problem he had from when he was at Carrick, and it went on him again. He was training and playing and he wasn’t 100% and he never really got a proper run of training and playing games and it hampered him. We got him looked at and he needed an operation which took him into February time and with missing pre-season we didn’t get to see the best of him last season."

Glenavon will host league leaders Coleraine at Mourneview Park on Saturday afternoon looking to claw back part of the eight point gap between the top two teams.

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