Kearns deal completes superb hat-trick for Glenavon

Glenavon scored a superb hat-trick on Thursday without kicking a ball.

The Lurgan Blues gave their fans three early Christmas presents with the news Andy Kilmartin, Mark Sykes and Daniel Kearns agreed new deals with the club.

Daniel Kearns - remains at Glenavon to the end of the season.

Daniel Kearns - remains at Glenavon to the end of the season.

Kilmartin has agreed a one year extension, Sykes has signed up for another two and a half years while Kearns will remain with the Lurgan Blues until the end of the season.

The capture of Kearns to the end of the season will be the one that other clubs will be disappointed to hear as speculation was mounting the 24-year-old would be on his way in the January transfer window.

However, manager Gary Hamilton has pulled off a magnificent coup on a busy day at the office.

“It’s been a great day with all three lads pledging their future to the club,” said Hamilton.

Mark Sykes

Mark Sykes

“I’m thrilled to agree a deal with Andy Kilmartin to keep him at the club for another year,” said boss Hamilton.

“He is a model professional and although he does not get many headlines because he does not score goals or set them up, he is a real diamond for me.

“The rest of the players will tell you they could not do without Andy in the team and that speaks volumes about his ability.

“He was one of my first signings and he just gets better each season. Last year he was out of the team for a while and was gutted, but he didn’t sulk. He waited for his chance and after Shane McCabe left he got back in and never looked back. He was one of our top four players over those last eight games and instrumental in our success.

Andy Kilmartin

Andy Kilmartin

“Andy is a player who covers a lot of ground, does all the dirty work and allows the flair players to do their job.

“Above all Andy has a fantastic attitude and he works so hard in training, He is the first out and last in and always is keen to do a bit extra.

“Mark Sykes is a young talent who I feel can go a long way in the game,” added Hamilton.

“If he doesn’t go across the water and he keeps progressing he is going to be the best midfielder in this league. There is more to come from him, but the talent he is showing at the minute is a credit to him.

“We all thought we would lose Daniel Kearns in January because part of the agreement with him coming here was he had a get out clause. He is a top talent and we are lucky to have him. For him to agree to stay until the end of the season is a massive boost and long term it could be the difference in us finishing second or third. He has made a huge impact since he came and made a positive contribution to us, but even for the Irish League to hold on to a player like him can only be a positive.

“Daniel took a chance coming to us but it gave him a chance to play first team football and he has enjoyed his time here. He could have left for a lot more money, but it shows the type of person he is that he has stayed at Glenavon and is determined to try and get us into Europe.

“Even if he is only with us until the end of the season he will go down as one of the best players to play for the club at for a long time.