IRISH CUP: It’s service before self for Bates

� Presseye.com- August 6th 2016, Danske Bank Premiership.
Glenavon v Carrick Rangers, Mourneview Park.
Glenavon's Guy Bates applauds the fans following Saturday's match at Mourneview.
Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.
� Presseye.com- August 6th 2016, Danske Bank Premiership. Glenavon v Carrick Rangers, Mourneview Park. Glenavon's Guy Bates applauds the fans following Saturday's match at Mourneview. Photo by TONY HENDRON/Presseye.com.

Guy Bates’ growing influence on the Glenavon side has been a welcome bonus in recent weeks but the striker considers personal plaudits second behind team progress.

Bates’ presence at the head of the Glenavon attack proved a central part of the 5-0 Irish Cup quarter-final derby delight against Portadown.

Now the striker has his sights set on a spot in the starting line-up this weekend when the Lurgan Blues aim to take that final step towards a third Irish Cup showpiece in four seasons.

“Individual praise is nice of course but not as important to me as helping the team,” said Bates. “I’m available for selection but we have a dressing room full of players who go out and give 100 per cent every match.

“I think the fans appreciate the honesty in this squad.

“You can be out of the side because a guy holds on to the jersey if in form and we all understand how every player can make a contribution, no matter how big or small, to the overall goal.

“It’s all about service to the team and I feel at my best when a cog in the wheel, with everyone clicking and working together.

“I think the way Gary Hamilton sets us out to play helps with that approach.

“It suits my own game to be part of that overall group working as one and we will need that to see off Coleraine.”

The experienced forward celebrated cup glory in 2014 during his first spell with Glenavon and is keen to claim another winner’s medal to celebrate a return to the club last summer on his one-year deal.

“I have great memories of the Irish Cup and will always remember Kyle Neill’s goal in 2014, which still goes down as one of the best I can recall in a final,” said Bates. “Hopefully we can reach another final with this squad and it is testament to the work put in by Gary to blood young players and Paul Millar as assistant manager as he plays such a key role in the dressing room.

“Hopefully we will be in another final after Saturday as 2014 was a special year for me and the club.

“I do not want to think about contracts or the future and always feel that stuff takes care of itself.

“You do not get judged on one or two games as a player but it is the accumulation of what you do in training and on matchdays.”