Glenavon coach backs summer signing Hall to hit the ground running

Andy Hall - pictured on show last season for Bangor against Knockbreda - has completed a move to Glenavon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Andy Hall - pictured on show last season for Bangor against Knockbreda - has completed a move to Glenavon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Glenavon moved into the transfer market late last week with the capture of Andy Hall from Bangor.

Hall had been a long-term target for the Mourneview Park men and arrives in Lurgan off the back of a tremendous season with the NIFL Championship One club.

“Andy was on the books at Glentoran during Gary Hamilton’s time in Belfast and also knows Ciaran Martyn,” said Nigel Law, the Glenavon coach. “I worked with Andy at Glentoran reserves when he broke into the set-up at a young age.

“We know he is a smashing lad and what we want as a person and player.

“We are always looking to add pace and quality in the attacking positions, with Andy coming off 30 or so assists last season and a goals return in double figures.

“In his own words, he turned down better financial offers to come to Glenavon for footballing reasons and we are delighted.”

Hall’s arrival adds to the attacking strength-in-depth of a Glenavon panel preparing for European football this summer.

“We want as many options as possible and Andy will head to America for a break before returning for pre-season,” said Law. “He is familiar with the management and coaching staff, plus also played with Mark Patton at Lisburn Distillery.

“We think he can hit the ground running and has the profile to be an important part of our first-team squad.

“He has had his disappointments in the past at various clubs but, in his words, opted to take a step back in terms of league profile by moving into the Championship over the past few seasons with the intention of always returning for another crack at the top flight.

“His confidence is higher than ever and can add real energy along the flanks or even from right-back.

“Options will be important and, for example, you look back at how some of Andy McGrory’s best games last season came as a right-back.

“That flexibility will help us overall.”

Hall follows former Linfield goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey to Mourneview Park as Glenavon prepare to enhance a squad that finished last season’s Danske Bank Premiership in third.

In other Glenavon news, the organisers of the Setanta Sports Cup have confirmed the cancellation of this summer’s competition.

Glenavon, Portadown, Glentoran and Crusaders were expected to represent the Danske Bank Premiership in quarter-final ties against sides from the Republic of Ireland proposed for June.

However, concerns increased following news of disagreements over dates and the decision to cancel the recent draw.

“Over recent months, we have been trying to find dates that can work for the broadcaster, the IFA clubs and the FAI clubs,” said Milo Corcoran. “Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions, it has not been possible to do so, even if I felt we were close to achieving agreement with all of the clubs required at one stage.

“Despite the setback, I believe this competition has a lot to offer.

“It is my hope that with time over the coming year, we will find a solution in 2016.”