GLENAVON’S new signings got their first run out at Mourneview Park on Saturday and man of them impressed on their debuts att he club’s home ground.
Defender Marc Brown, in particular, put in a fantastic display against tough opposition in the form of Republic of Ireland striker Andy Keogh. Summer signings Sean McCashin, Andy Kilmartin and Guy Bates also started the game, alongside emerging young winger Andy McGrory and trialist Lee Toland.
Brown was stout in defence, not giving any space for Keogh to show his class. His central defensive partner, Sean McCashin survived a few nervous moments and also impressed.
Andy Kilmartin showed the supporters a little snippet of what he can add to the team as he dropped deep and looked to pass the ball through the Lions’ midfield, linking up Glenavon’s passing style well.
In attack, Guy Bates was up there with Glenavon’s stand-out players, using his strength to hold off his marker, holding the ball up well and showing a cute football brain with a series of neat flicks and dummies to find strike partner Gary Hamilton.
The boss himself was impressed with his new signings, especially Brown, who is playing for free after joining from Larne
“I thought Marc Brown was exceptional,” he told the ‘MAIL.’
“I know him and Davy (O’Hare) had a bit of a mix-up for the second goal but in the first half he was marking Andy Keogh and you wouldn’t even have known Andy was on the pitch.
“What Marc’s getting paid compared to what Andy’s being paid is some difference but Marc did a great job on him.
“Sean McCashin did well too. I thought he started the game a wee bit nervously on the ball but as the game went on, we saw what a good player he is. He’s going to be a massive signing for Glenavon this season, I’ve no doubt about that.
“Andy Kilmartin was himself. He gets on the ball, passes it and very rarely gives it away. You could see that on Saturday and against players at our own level, Andy will star even more.”
Hamilton was also delighted with the display of striker Bates, who he wants young striker Andrew Mitchell to be able to learn from in the coming season.
He said: “I thought that Guy Bates gave their defence a torrid time on Saturday. He’s a strong guy and he’s very talented on the ball. He has a good bit of skill, can beat players and that was playing against boys who are quicker and stronger than us.
“I think when Guy’s playing against Irish League players, he’ll look quite quick as well. There’s no doubt that Guy’s a very intelligent player and that will help my game because he’s on the same wavelength as I am. But Matty Burrows came on on Saturday, held the ball up well and did what we asked of him as well.
“Any young striker will learn a lot from Guy because he’s fantastic at holding the ball up. Yes, he’s got a bit of extra strength but it’s all to do with his first touch and his awareness. The guys he was against on Saturday were stronger than him but he was still able to hold them off and that all comes from experience.
“Watching Guy will help Andrew (Mitchell) as well. If he can watch Guy, study his game and see what he does then he’ll definitely learn a lot and he’ll be a better player when he comes back from his injury.”