Positive Blues will improve - skipper

CLUB captain Brendan Shannon says it is Glenavon’s positive attitude that could fire them up the Danske Bank Premiership table this season.

The former Donegal Celtic man was given the armband towards the end of last season and he is confident that the newfound confidence within the squad will help them improve in the coming term.

“Everyone’s working for each other, everyone wants to be there and wants to train,” he said.

“Everyone wants to be on the ball, pass it and work for each other. In my eyes, it’s 10 times better than what it has been but it’s just pre-season and it’s a different ball game to taking it into the season. Hopefully we can do that too.

“The league’s that close and on our day, we can beat anyone. It’s very close and it’s down to the attitude as well. That’s something we’ve been working at and Gary has been getting us all into a positive attitude and believing that we can play football.

“Gary will tell us how he wants us to work and what he wants us to do off the ball but he trusts our ability on the ball and that means a lot.

“He has us working well and playing the way he wants us to play. We’re trying to push on, working as a unit higher up the pitch and winning the ball back early. ”

Shannon’s main priority for his team is to avoid the bottom of the table scrap, although he would like a cup run, and the skipper is sure that boss Gary Hamilton’s new signings with bolster the squad.

He said: “The priority is to avoid any sort of a relegation battle but with the squad of players we have, I think we can push on this year.

“We’d love to have a cup run this season too. If we can get a good draw, we could take it all the way. It would be good for the club to get something because the club needs and deserves it after all it’s been through.

“Gary’s brought in a lot of good signings. Eddie McCallion has a super attitude. He gives 100% effort and commitment in training, which is good because it means the rest of us have to up our games as well.

“Andy Kilmartin has been brilliant too. He’s always looking the ball, is good on it and he makes it so easy for the guys playing with him. He’s great to play with and very hard to play against.

“Batesy (Guy Bates) is another good signing. He’s a strong guy and works his socks off. He’s just getting his fitness back but he holds the ball up well. There have been a lot of good signings, I could go on about all of the guys that Gary has brought in.

“Even some of the younger guys like Andy McGrory look like very good prospects for this season.

“We’ve a strong team and people are challenging for positions all over the pitch. I don’t think we’ll be anywhere near the relegation battle this year.”

And with McCallion’s addition, Shannon himself faces stiff competition for the right-back slot. The captain would therefore be open to a change of position for the coming season.

“I’m not sure what the story is going to be,” he said.

“Eddie’s come in and he’s been playing at right-back or centre-back for Derry City for over 10 years now so he brings great competition.

“I feel that I could do a job at right midfield and I’d be confident in doing so. I’ve had a chat with Gary about it and he has said that the idea is to have players who can play in different positions and that it is something that we may look at.

“I’d have no worries in doing it, especially with the likes of Eddie McCallion playing behind and forming a good partnership with him.

“But then again, there’s Andy McGrory there, who’s been flying in pre-season so it’s tough to say where or if I’ll be playing this season!”

Shannon has been impressed with coach Nigel Law’s training in pre-season and says that the preparation for the coming campaign is “how it should be” in modern football:

“Training’s been brilliant. It’s something I’ve never experienced in football. Nigel’s come in with fresh ideas and he’s doing things the ways they should be done.

“He’s doing pre-season how it should be and we’ve had a lot of ball-work. It’s been brilliant and the players respect that because he knows what he’s talking about and what should be happening. We’re always looking forward to training as well, not a lot of football players can really say that.”