Belfast Telegraph

Hammy can blast Glens to glory says McDonald

Carnegie Premier League

By Chris Holt

Glentoran manager Alan McDonald believes if Gary Hamilton lets his feet do the talking, the east Belfast men could be in for a successful campaign.

The Irish League's top goalscorer last season, Hamilton kicked off this term with a stunning hat-trick on Saturday against Armagh City - a sure fire indication that the Northern Ireland striker has goals in mind again.

What was perhaps more pleasing to Glenmen though was the fact that the triple haul came in the face of adversity.

Just minutes before he hammered in the first goal, Hamilton was denied two stonewall penalties within seconds of each other by referee Colin Burns.

Not to be disheartened though, the ex-Portadown man kept battling and earned his rewards with that terrific treble.

It is that kind of temperament and attitude that McDonald feels could help the Glens to some very valuable results this season.

"Gary plays with his heart on his sleeve and what you see is what you get from him," said the boss.

" He could have quite easily become frustrated and disappeared from the game because he should have got a couple of penalties but to his credit he kept plugging away. I told him that if he feels there is an injustice just carry on and prove people wrong and the best way that Gary Hamilton can prove anybody wrong or make his point is by putting the ball in the back of the net.

"He is extremely capable of doing that and that's what Gary has to focus on - just let his feet do the talking."

Meanwhile, Colin Nixon insists the outlook is no longer bleak at the Oval - and even in defeat against Manchester United the east Belfast men showed what they are capable of.

"The matches we played in pre-season really prepared us well for the campaign," he said.

" Playing Espanyol and United were always going to be tough tests but the players learned things and we always try to play football the right way.

"I thought it was great when the Oval was packed out for the United game and I would love to see big crowds come back to local football.

" At times teams like United look invincible and all credit to them but our goal is to dominate the local game. We have started the season well and the challenge, as always, is to find consistency. We have a strong squad and the younger players are gaining valuable experience all the time."


From Belfast Telegraph