GLENAVON have completed the signing of amateur Republic of Ireland international winger Adam Foley.
The 23-year-old is Gary Hamilton’s first signing ahead of next season and will add some much needed width to the squad. Hamilton has been searching for a winger for over a year but two may have come along at once as he is hopeful of signing another in the near future.
In more good news goalkeeper Andy Coleman has also signed a new two-year contract at the club.
New signing Foley made his amateur international debut against Northern Ireland in April 2011 and scored a 20-yard drive. He comes to Glenavon with the seal of approval from legendary Blues’ striker Tony Grant, which was enough to sway Hamilton’s decision.
“He’s pacey, he can play on either wing and he’s over six feet tall so he’s got everything to be a good player,” said Hamilton.
“Tony Grant played with him for a while at Glebe North and had liked what he had seen.
“I liked the look of him when we played a friendly against them last year. A couple of Eircom League sides had been looking at him but he couldn’t commit to them because a lot of matches down there are on Friday nights and he can’t get out of work.
“That’s benefited us and he’s come in under our wage budget. If he does half as good as Tony’s last recommendation, Guy Bates, then he’ll be a good player for us.
“To get picked for the Republic of Ireland team from their amateur leagues is a good achievement because there are a lot of good players there who can’t play at a higher level due to their work. He has a lot of pedigree about him.”
Hamilton’s thoughts have already turned to next season and he will soon decide on the futures of his out-of-contract players. Conor Hagan, Kyle Neill, Mark Turkington, Niall Henderson and Sean McCashin’s contracts are all up and Hamilton will soon decide who to offer new deals to.
He said: “We’re in a much better place than last season when we only had seven or eight players under contract. This year we have the basis of our squad already tied up. We’ll have to sit down now and talk about the players who are out of contract.
“We’ll then see where we are with money but we’ll want a few more fresh faces as well. It took us a year and a half to get a winger but hopefully we’ll get another one in soon and we’ll also be looking at the centre-half position. We need somebody who is going to improve us and come in under our wage budget. A midfielder would be a bonus too.
“We don’t have the money to take gambles so we have to make sure we’re bringing in the right player who will improve things.”