Pitch was playable says Hamilton

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GLENAVON boss Gary Hamilton has claimed the pitch at Mourneview Park was playable last Saturday.

The game was postponed in order for the IFA to make every possible effort to get Northern Ireland’s international match against Russia played. FIFA rules therefore prevented Glenavon’s game from being scheduled on the same day as NI’s rearranged fixture, which was again called off anyway.

Consequently, the Blues have to wait to host Coleraine, even though, as Hamilton claims, the pitch was in a state fit to host the game.

He said: “Our match last Saturday would have went ahead only for the international match. The pitch would have been playable. There was a bit of water on it but that would have been moved away and we would have been able to play, which is a credit to Geordie Swift for the good work he’s done on the pitch.”

Despite the frustrations, the Glenavon boss does agree with the FIFA rules that dictated the decision.

“It’s the same in every country so I understand that,” he said. “It’s probably more difficult in this case because the games were due to go ahead until the day before as the Northern Ireland game was set for Friday night.

“The other thing is though that if we play our game on the same day as an international match, our crowd will take a hit. A good percentage of people who watch the Irish League will watch Northern Ireland so it makes sense not to play at the same time.”

The postponement and adverse whether conditions elsewhere in Northern Ireland have meant Glenavon’s training in the build-up to that game have been hugely disrupted and Hamilton is having to take each session as it comes this week.

“We couldn’t do much last weekend,” he added. “We probably could have got indoor training somewhere but with our guys coming from all over the country, we couldn’t train so the boys were left to what they could do on their own.

“Hopefully the boys will all be able to get to training this week.”

Glenavon go into Saturday’s game just six points ahead of Donegal Celtic, although DC potentially face a three point deduction for playing Sean Cleary in their win over Lisburn Distillery with confusion over whether or not he was suspended.

While admitting a deduction would benefit Glenavon, Hamilton is determined the Blues look after themselves by putting points on the board, starting on Saturday.

He said: “Obviously we want the best for the club and we want to be as far away from DC as possible come the end of the season. We haven’t thought about it an awful lot or tried to guess what’s going to happen because if we win enough games then we’ll not have to worry about it.

“Our main priority is to look after ourselves. If they were deducted points it would put them further behind us but at the minute we’ll take it that they’re just six points behind us.”

Glenavon will now be without Niall Henderson and Kyle Neill for Saturday’s game against Coleraine as both are suspended.