KRIS Lindsay has offered to play for Glenavon next season for free.
The 28 year-old centre-back was signed by the club on loan from Linfield in January but injured his cruciate ligament in his first game. Consequently, he has offered his services free of charge for next season, something that has thrilled boss Gary Hamilton.
“The club has looked after Kris, paying for his operation and rehab and he has offered to play for us next season for free,” he told the ‘MAIL.’
“He has shown a great dedication to Glenavon Football Club by doing that.
“He has offered to play for free for the season but if he has played 20 games by January then we could maybe put him on the payroll because we look after players as a club.
“Kris just wants to play football. Players offering to play for free is a rarity, especially someone of his quality. He is a massive signing for the club. David Jeffrey told me in January that he had the potential to be Linfield’s best centre-back, but he just couldn’t stay fit.
“It’s great for the club, the way the budget is. He knows that the way things have gone for him, he has to prove his fitness.
“I’ve seen players who have injury problems until they are 27 or 28 and they end up playing until they’re 35 so hopefully things will work out for Kris.”
Hamilton is even dreaming of having Lindsay back for the beginning of next season:
“Originally he was scheduled to return in November but now he has been told he could be back in September and our physio even thinks he might make it for pre-season.”
With the season now over, the boss has turned his attentions to assembling his own squad for next season.
“The job’s only starting for us now,” he said.
“This week, we’ll sit down, plan a budget with the chairman and the directors and then we’ll plan for next season. It’s something I would have liked to have started to do a few weeks ago but we couldn’t do that. Unfortunately, I’ll not be able to sit down with my players until next Tuesday to discuss contracts.
“I can’t wait. I just want to get my own squad together, get my players in, do a bit of wheeling and dealing and then it’s my squad that I can be judged on. I brought a few players in at Christmas and all of them have done well and the situation now is that I can get my squad about me.”
Hamilton says that it is unrealistic to expect a top six finish next season but also admits that it is the “losing mentality” at the club that he wants to change.
He said: “I’m a winner and I want the club to go forward. We’re not going to finish in the top six next year, that’s not the aim. The aim is to get away from the relegation battle, where we’ve been for the last 10 years. We want to get into the situation where we’re not worrying in the last five or six weeks of the season and then we can move on again the year after.
“It’s important that we do that and get the right type of player around. There’s a losing mentality here. That’s the biggest thing I noticed when I came to Glenavon. Like anything, losing becomes a habit and at the start of next season, we want to hit the ground running and pick up as many wins and draws as we can so we’re not in the same situation next year.
“We don’t want to be in the same situation as we were in this season and we know the supporters don’t want that either. We’ll do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen and that we maybe get a good cup run as well.”