Davey is following in his father's footsteps

GLENAVON boss Marty Quinn was eager to put his stamp on the squad in the January transfer window and his first signing, Hugh Davey, has already shown promise in his early performances.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2010, 10:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd February 2010, 7:49 am

The left-back made his debut against Lisburn Distillery last month and put in a solid display before continuing to impress, being awarded the club’s Man of the Match award in his next game despite the side going down 3-0 at the hands of Cliftonville.

The Newry man followed in his father, Con’s footsteps when he signed on at Mourneview Park, Con having played for the Blues as well as Cliftonville in an impressive Irish League career. Hugh’s grandfather of the same name was an even more notable player, having gained five international caps for Ireland between 1925 and 1928 whilst playing in England with Reading, Portsmouth and Blackburn.

Glenavon’s new signing also played ‘across the water,’ beginning his career with Blackburn Rovers but, as he told the ‘MAIL,’ he knew he would never make it into the club’s senior side and so moved on to pastures new.

“I had a three year contract starting when I was 16 but I left after two years because I knew I was never going to play on the first team so I didn’t want to kid myself,” he said.

“I played one year at U17 and then a year at U19 level before leaving that summer to play for UCD.

“I only stayed there for two seasons and moved on to America to university.”

Davey enjoyed a successful three years in the USA where he was named in the All-American team for his efforts in his second season playing for his College side, the Embry-Riddle Eagles.

“I really enjoyed it over there,” he told with obvious affection for his time spent at the university.

“We didn’t win any national tournaments but I enjoyed playing in them. There were a few quality players in the league over there but there was a big range of qualities too. It wasn’t like the Irish League where everybody is of a certain standard. There were some very good teams but there were some very poor teams as well.

“The pace of football is very different over there too. The Irish League is all about putting pressure on people in all areas of the pitch whereas in the States it is more of a South American or Italian style where they let you play at the back, which I liked.”

However, on return to Northern Ireland, the three times Northern Ireland U21 international turned his back on the sport, instead concentrating on his Gaelic football career with Down.

“I was playing for the county last year but it was too much of a commitment and I wasn’t getting on the team so there wasn’t much return,” he told the ‘MAIL.’

“I definitely want to concentrate on soccer now. When I started playing at Glenavon I hadn’t kicked a soccer ball since summer 2008 and I really missed it.

“I’m really enjoying being back now. Hopefully I can get a few good performances under my belt and that we can get a few wins. My main concern is to keep my place in the team at the minute and that we do start picking up a few points.”

Davey has had little opportunity to impress since joining the club though, thanks to the adverse weather conditions that brought in the New Year.

“I signed just before Christmas and there’s only been four matches so it’s been very frustrating,” he said.

“ But I’m still enjoying my time at Glenavon so far and it’s a really nice club. They’re very accommodating and there are nice people about the club.”

The 23 year-old was Marty Quinn’s first signing of the January transfer window and says that it was the influence of his dad that brought him to Glenavon.

“He always spoke very highly of the club and was keen for me to sign,” Davey said of his father.

“He was certainly a big part in me joining Glenavon and he’s a good friend of Marty’s too. My father gave Marty my number and he called me so that was the only reason I really went up to the club.

“We’re a much better team than we have been showing lately. We certainly should be in a better league position than we are at the minute and I think we could have a run in the Irish Cup as well which would breed a bit of confidence.

“”I think we could do well under Marty. He gets the best out of the players, even though you wouldn’t think so in some of our performances lately but in training you can certainly see that he’s trying to do the right things.”