Glenavon began life without Guy Bates in the best possible way with a win over Ballinamallard to take them into fourth place, just two points behind leaders Ballymena.
When asked how Glenavon would cope without Bates’ goal threat boss Gary Hamilton said: “He didn’t score for us this season, but there’s no doubt he’ll be missed. Guy has been a big player for us, particularly last season. We were a bottom of the league team when he came here and he played a big part in moving us forward. He was a player who always worried the opposition and a big reason why we won the Irish Cup. Like every big player he could be hard work but 90 per cent of the time he was good to work with.
“It’s sad to lose somebody like him. I’ve always said that life is more important than football, so I wasn’t going to hold him back with his move to Australia.
“I wish Guy all the best, but my job is to focus on the club and I think we’re equipped to cope.
“I’d rather that the focus wasn’t on one player to provide the goals. We’ve got goals in all departments. Ciaran Martyn, Andy McGrory, Adam Foley and Ciaran Caldwell contribute goals and our defenders chip in with their fair share. Kyle Neill and Rhys Marshall are always good for a few and our central defenders are a big threat from set pieces.
“Of course you want to see your strikers score, but scoring isn’t everything. If you look at Eoin Bradley, he has one but he’s set up four.
“I don’t care who scores as long as we’re winning. ”
Glenavon visit Institute on Saturday - kick-off 3 o’clock.