Kevin Braniff hoping to silence Portadown in Euro shoot-out

Glenavon talisman Kevin Braniff is relishing Saturday's Mid Ulster derby
Glenavon talisman Kevin Braniff is relishing Saturday's Mid Ulster derby

Kevin Braniff is hoping to put one over former club Portadown in Saturday’s massive Mid Ulster derby.

The clash at Mourneview Park has been labelled a ‘Euro shoot-out’ with both clubs looking to secure a top three finish this season.

Glenavon sit third in the Danske Bank Premiership, just two points above Portadown who can also qualify for Europe if they win the Irish Cup next month.

A 200,000 Euro windfall is guaranteed for whoever qualifies for the Europa League, making Saturday one of the most eagerly anticipated Mid Ulster derbies in years.

And Glenavon talisman Braniff is relishing the clash in Lurgan.

“It would be a massive achievement for Glenavon Football Club to qualify for Europe,” he said.

“Considering our initial focus was on the top six, to possibly finish in the European spots is fantastic.

“To finish third would be a massive achievement from all the lads, and the way the lads have been playing they deserve it.”

Glenavon have thrust themselves into contention following a stellar six-game winning streak in the Premiership.

In their last five outings they have defeated both Cliftonville and Linfield twice, and eased to a 4-0 victory over Glentoran.

“We have beaten everyone around us, apart from Portadown who we play next. So hopefully we can change that record,” Braniff added.

“We would love to get one over them next week. It is a massive game for everyone next week. Both clubs are fighting for Europe and we want to get there.

“We owe Portadown one, and I would love to get one over them myself.”

Braniff – who has scored 19 goals this season – added: “Everything is going the way we want it to. Progress is being made.

“The manager has a new deal, and we have players like Rhys Marshall who has signed a new contract.

“So if we can keep this squad together then who knows what we can achieve next season. There is lots of potential.”