Determined Hamilton urges players to ‘grasp opportunity’

Glenavon player/manager Gary Hamilton
Glenavon player/manager Gary Hamilton

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton will urge his boys to ‘grasp a great opportunity’ when they face Ballinamallard United at Fermey Park in the sixth round of the Irish Cup on Saturday.

The game has already been washed out on two occasions and, when they did finally get under way last week, it was abandoned before the break due to torrential rain.

With many of the so called ‘big guns’ already dumped out of the competition, Hamilton insists his team have an excellent chance of going the distance.

“This is now a massive game for us,” he said. “I’ve already told the boys that opportunities like this don’t come around all that often.

“If we win, we are in the quarter finals – and there are only three of the top six teams left in the tournament.

“That means there is a big, big chance for any other club to win a trophy. Of the top four, Linfield, Cliftonville, Crusaders and Portadown – there is only one off them left.

“So for the rest of us –the likes of ourselves, Ballymena, Ballinamallard, Glentoran – we’ll never get a better chance as a group of players.”

Hamilton’s braves were unlucky to leave Windsor Park on Monday night with nothing to show for their efforts, but the three points shot the Blues back to the top of the Premiership table.

“We must now take the form we showed at Windsor Park into the game at Ballinamallard and give it our all because if we ever get to the last eight again, I’ll guarantee there’ll be three of the four top teams also there,” he added.

“That’s twice we’ve come away from Windsor Park pointless after turning in a superb performance. Anyone at the game would agree that we were the better team and created the best chances over the 90 minutes.

“We also never seem to get any decisions in our favour from referees when we go to grounds like that. I was actually surprised when we had a penalty awarded in our favour.”