Former Everton youngster Shayne Lavery “too good” for Irish League

Pacemaker - Belfast -  -28/09/2019.        'Linfield v Glenavon   Danske Bank Premiership 'Linfield's Shayne Lavery Hat rick  hero    during  today's   game at Windsor Park Belfast 'Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker - Belfast - -28/09/2019. 'Linfield v Glenavon Danske Bank Premiership 'Linfield's Shayne Lavery Hat rick hero during today's game at Windsor Park Belfast 'Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press

Former Everton starlet Shayne Lavery is too good for the Irish League, according to the manager of the team on the receiving end of his hat-trick last weekend.

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton has admitted that his side was beaten from the start in the 7-0 hammering by Linfield., and that Lavery was “unplayable” on the day.

He said the current Blues were the best Linfield he’d seen, and that his men were out-played from kick-off, adding: “From the first minute, we were all over the place in terms of our shape. And we were up against a player like Shayne Lavery - he shouldn’t be playing in this league.

“They were getting down the sides and getting crosses into the box. We were four goals down at half-time and it literally was damage limitation.

“Anyone who is been in that position will know it’s difficult to pick anyone up in that situation.

“Shayne is a top, top player – he shouldn’t be playing in this league. I watched his performances in Europe against top sides. He was unplayable today – it’s as simple as that.”

Linfield boss, David Healy agreed that Lavery has ambitions to play at a higher level but says he is well placed to gain experience before looking to make a move back to England.

He said: “Shayne’s finishing was first class. He came back to us after spells with Everton and Falkirk and was low in confidence. But he’s now finding his feet in the Irish League.

“Obviously, his ambition is to get back to the full-time game. When the opportunity comes, we’ll look at it, but it won’t be coming soon. He’s already experienced a difficult time across the water.

“Shayne knows that, six months ago, he wasn’t playing any football at all. There is no point going back to that. If Shayne plays 80 to 100 games over the next two seasons, then he will be better prepared.”

Linfield announced that Lavery had joined them in May, saying “Shayne is a 20 year old who has been with Everton since the age of 16, although he has spent the last few months on loan at Falkirk in Scotland. He is a regular in the Northern Ireland Under 21 team and he made his full international debut last year against Panama.”

Former Northern Ireland striking hero, Healy said at the time: “I’m very enthusiastic about young Shayne joining us. I’ve known him for some time and I know what an exciting and promising talent he is. He’s played at var ious underage international levels and made his senior international debut exactly a year ago. He will certainly increase the competition levels within our squad and I’m really looking forward to working with him again, when he joins us for our UEFA Champions League preparations.He’s a quality signing who I believe will fit in well with our squad and I know our supporters will make him feel most welcome.”

Lavery, who didn’t get a debut in the Everton senior team, has been selected for the Northern Ireland squad to play the Netherlands in Euro 2020 next week. The nearest he came to a senior appearance for the Toffees was a place on the bench for a Europa League clash with Apollon Limassol in December 2017.