MARK Farren has urged Glenavon to start ‘looking up.’
The former Derry City man made his long-awaited debut for the Blues in Saturday’s defeat to Crusaders and says his new side are moving in the right direction.
“The boys can achieve anything they want,” he said, optimistically. “I think the club has been in a mode of worrying about relegation and looking downwards but now it’s time to start looking up. We’re getting in players who can help the club to rise up now rather than always looking down.
“The team isn’t bad. It’s just cutting out the individual mistakes we make. Hopefully we can go on a good run now, put some results together and climb up the table.
“If we can start keeping clean sheets then I think that’s a big thing. We’re always going to score goals with the players we have.”
Farren, of course, knows all about finding the net and is Derry City’s record goalscorer, having bagged a stunning 113 goals in 209 appearances.
However, Farren was diagnosed with a benign grade two brain tumour on Christmas Eve 2008. The striker was forced to retire from football in 2010 after netting 20 goals to help Derry City earn promotion the season before and then underwent surgery in December of that year. However, just five months later, Farren was delighted to be able to get back onto the training pitch and was back in competitive action by September 2011.
An injury blighted 2012 ensured Farren’s opportunities on the pitch were limited and consequently, after joining Glenavon, the Donegal man is concentrating on regaining his full match fitness but is still confident his knack of scoring goals will soon return.
“I had a bit of a problem but I’ve overcome it now,” he said.
“There was a stage where it was dangerous for me to go back and play football again but I’m very happy to be back and I’ll look forward to kicking on now.
“It’s been a long spell out. It’s been five or six months. I didn’t even know I was playing against Crusaders on Saturday until before the game and the main thing was to get match fitness out of it. I probably should have scored but I’m looking forward to getting going again.
“It’s going to take me five or six games to get there but it’s a start. To be honest, all I’m looking for at the minute is to get back playing matches again and to build myself up for next season.
“If I can score a few goals along the way then that would be great. Next year, I’ll be looking to really improve and once I get a few games, hopefully I should be flying.”
Glenavon fans will certainly be hoping Farren can get back to his best form and with the Mourneview Park club already impressing the striker.
He said: “I came to see Glenavon and I thought it was a great club and a great set-up. Derry weren’t in a position to offer me a contract at the time so it was right for me to sign for Glenavon and I’m happy with the decision I’ve made.”
Speaking after Saturday’s game, Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton was pleased with Farren’s debut display and said fans must be patient in their wait to see the striker firing on all cylinders.
He said: “What people don’t notice is Mark’s movement. It creates so much space for other players. It’s frightening. For my chance in the second half, he made a great run across the right side of the pitch. I was able to play it into Bates and the whole left side had opened up. That was all down to Mark.
“People only see the passes and the shots but we look at the bigger picture. It’s going to take Mark a while to get fit and get his match sharpness back. He only played about three games before Derry City’s season finished and it is going to take him five or six games to get his match sharpness. It may even take 10 or 15 games before we see the real Mark Farren.”
However long it takes, if his record at Derry City is anything to go by, an on-fire Mark Farren would surely be worth the wait for Glenavon supporters.