Big defender Kris Lindsay insists the ‘old heads’ in the Glenavon dressing room will ease the growing breed of talent emerging at the club through Saturday’s difficult Irish Cup semi final against Crusaders at Windsor Park.
Lindsay, who has a winners’ medal from his days at Linfield, is one of a posse of players to arrive at Mourneview Park to have their soccer career revived by manager Gary Hamilton.
With so many teenagers making their breakthrough, their experience has proved invaluable, reflected in the fact that Glenavon forged their way into the league’s top six for the first time ever.
“We’ve a lot of experience in our dressing room, but we also have some great kids that have come through this season,” smiles Lindsay.
“We’ve Winkie (William Murphy), Big G (Gareth McKeown), Davy Rainey, Kyle Neill, Eddie McCallion, Ciaran Martyn and Gary (Hamilton) himself. They’ve all played in many big games in big competitions, so it’s up to us to get the younger kids through it.
“I’m talking about the likes of younger Rhys Marshall and James Singleton. They are smashing players, but don’t have that experience of playing on occasions like this and in front of a big crowd.
“It’s important we talk to them and keep them right on the day.”
Lindsay admits that he and the elder-statesmen at the club come in for a fair amount of stick about their age.
“We were known as ‘Dad’s Army’ at one stage,” he laughs. “I suppose our combined age is ridiculous. None of us are under 30. In fact, there are some of us pushing 40.
“Winkie has actually reached that stage. Gary has mastered the art of blending our experience with the youth at the club. He’s brought in fresh legs that do the running for us.
“They also keep us fresh in training and keep us buzzing. I only played in one Irish Cup final in my time at Linfield. Most of the times when we reached finals, I was injured at that stage. Touch wood, it doesn’t happen this time.
“I have a winners’ medal from the year we defeated Coleraine in the final. It would be great to be able to add to that.
“We have a squad full of quality at the club. Full credit to Gary and Windy (Paul Millar) for building that group of players.”