IRISH CUP: Team glory comes before personal accolades, admits Glenavon goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey

Glenavon goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey
Glenavon goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey

Jonny Tuffey admits he would readily swap personal accolades for an Irish Cup winner’s medal.

Tuffey was crowned Official Glenavon Player of the Season last Saturday, rich reward following a stellar debut year at Mourneview Park.

The 29-year-old was presented with the Alan Steele Memorial Trophy after claiming 65 per cent of the vote.

Tuffey admits it was a proud moment in his career, and he now hopes to follow up that success by helping Glenavon lift the Irish Cup on Saturday.

Standing between the goalkeeper and glory at Windsor Park will be Linfield, the side Tuffey was jettisoned from at the end of last season.

“I can’t wait for Saturday. It will certainly be up there in my career highlights,” the former Northern Ireland goalkeeper said.

“It is fantastic for Glenavon to be in another final, two years after winning the Irish Cup.

“Gary (Hamilton) and Paul (Millar) deserve so much credit for the job they’ve done, and hopefully we can do it again on Saturday. It is going to be massive, and hopefully we can get the job done.”

Reflecting on his Player of the Year success, Tuffey added: “I am obviously delighted to win such an award, and I am very proud.

“But at the end of the day it is all about the team and the club, and if the club does well then I am happy.

“I would give up any personal award if it meant Glenavon won the Irish Cup. I don’t mean that as any disrespect to the people who voted for me to win the Player of the Season trophy.

“I just prefer to see Glenavon Football Club succeed, and I would swap my personal achievements for the team to win a major trophy.”

Despite Linfield standing in the opposite corner on Saturday afternoon, Tuffey insists he has no added motivation to beat the club that released him 12 months ago.

“No, not at all. My only motivation is to try and win an Irish Cup – nothing more,” he added.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my year at Glenavon and I am only focused on trying to help the team succeed.

“We have the quality in this squad to win major silverware, and we have the belief and character to win on Saturday. Linfield are a quality side so we know how tough it will be.”