CLOSE TO FULL STRENGTH SIDE

GLENAVON will have closer to a full strength team available for selection in their first home game in the Danske Bank Premiership on Saturday.

The Blues take on Glentoran at Mourneview Park (kick-off 3pm) and boss Gary Hamilton will have a bigger squad of players to chose from with Andy Kilmartin and Andy McGrory available to make their Glenavon league debuts while Mark Haughey will also again be available for selection.

“Andy Kilmartin’s back, Andy McGrory will be available again and hopefully Mark can come back too, depending on how the Reserve game goes in midweek,” said Hamilton.

“We didn’t want his risk his groin on the artificial surface at Cliftonville but hopefully with an extra week’s rest and a reserve team game this week, he will come back into the squad.”

Glentoran have, of course, had some very public off-field difficulties lately but Hamilton knows that his former side, including former blue Jay Magee, are still full of quality on the pitch.

“It’ll not be easy,” he said.

“Glentoran are in a bit of a sticky patch the way things are behind the scenes but they have a lot of quality throughout their side.

“We’ve got a hard start with last season’s top three and Glentoran in the first six games but there’s no doubt that we can get something from those games. All we can look for is improvement and for the club to be moving forward.”

However, the boss won’t let that stop him approaching the game with a positive attitude and looking to pick up all three points.

“We also know that if we put in a performance, we have every chance of getting something from the game,” he said.

“In every game we play, we look for a win. We don’t want to set our stall out for a draw. Last Saturday, for example, the plan was to stop Cliftonville from scoring but we also knew that we could hit them on the break.

“I think it worked. We knew we couldn’t take it to them from the off with the amount of players we had out but we got chances.

“This week, we’ll have some of those players back for selection again. We’ll take the game to Glentoran and on our day, we know we can beat any team in the league.”

Meanwhile, Ormo Okunaiya has been offered the chance to begin a second spell at Glenavon as Hamilton has offered him an amateur contract. Fellow triallist, Monday Awoyomi, however, has not been offered a deal but the Blues will still be keeping tabs on the Glebe North midfielder.

“Monday has been told that we’re going to keep an eye on him until Christmas and watch him closely because he just wasn’t ready for us yet. We’ll see what happens with him now,” said the gaffer.

“We’ve had a chat with Ormo and he agreed with us that he’s not match-fit yet.

“We’ve offered him an amateur contract because he needs to prove his fitness and that he deserves a contract.

“If he’s looking money now, then it’s not there at this minute in time but we want him to stay because he has something about him.

“The option is there for him if he wants to prove that he is worthy of a place in the team. He is going to get back to us hopefully either this week or next so we just have to wait for that.”