Focused Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton urges his players to ‘go for it’ in Iceland

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton is under no illusions
Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton is under no illusions

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton has urged his players to “go for it” when the club returns to the European stage on Thursday.

The Lurgan Blues are in Iceland for the first leg of their Europa League qualifier against FH Hafnarfjordur (8.15pm kick-off BST).

It is 12 years since the Mourneview Park side played in Europe, losing out to Scottish side Kilmarnock in the old UEFA Cup.

Glenavon are massive 7/1 underdogs for Thursday’s first leg, against a side who are already into their domestic season.

“It is always going to be a massive challenge for us. FH are up to speed in their season and they are brimming with confidence,” Hamilton said.

“It will be a high standard and high tempo, and in many respects we are stepping into the unknown.

“But we won’t sit back and defend. We will give it our best shot and hopefully get a decent result.”

Glenavon’s preparations were disrupted after their flight to Birmingham was cancelled on Tuesday. It meant Hamilton’s players missed a connecting flight to Iceland.

The club arrived in England later on Tuesday evening but were not able to fly to Reykjavik until Wednesday morning.

Hamilton admits the travel chaos has only heightened the challenge facing Glenavon this evening.

“The odds are definitely against us going into these two games, but we have a fighting chance,” he added.

“It might only be a 10 per cent chance of getting a win but it is still a chance.”

Glenavon are without a number of key personnel for Thursday’s clash.

Gareth McKeown, William Murphy, James Singleton, Adam Foley, Andy Kilmartin, Ciaran Martyn and Mark Patton have all missed the trip due to injury or holiday commitments.