Best chance to go all the way in some time

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton

Gary Hamilton believes Glenavon will never have a better opportunity to win the Irish Cup than they do this season.

Cliftonville, Linfield and Portadown have all been sent crashing out and Hamilton knows his side have a great chance to at least reach the final.

However, they must continue their cup run on Saturday by overcoming Ballinamallard at Ferney Park.

“It’s a big game for us as a club,” he said. “We’re not going to get a better opportunity to get to a final. We need to beat Ballinamallard. That’s the most important thing.

“Let’s be honest though. There’s only one of the top four teams left and for all the rest of us, it’s the biggest chance we’ll ever get to win an Irish Cup.

“You’ll never get another situation for a while where, in the quarter-final, there is only one of the top four teams.

“We need to put in the same performance and commitment we have over the past few weeks. If we do that, our quality shows and we get the rub of the green you need in cup football then we could be looking forward to a quarter-final against Glentoran.

“If we don’t show that commitment then it could work the opposite way too.”

Hamilton will be without Rhys Marshall, who was dismissed at Windsor Park.

He said: “He’s going to be a big miss for us. He’s been a great player for us this season and it wouldn’t surprise me if he wins all the player of the year awards. He’s been a credit to himself and his family. He’s one of the first names on the team-sheet. To be in that position at 19 is fantastic.”

However, with or without Marshall, Hamilton says he won’t be keeping one eye on Tuesday’s league match against Warrenpoint when it comes to selecting a team for this cup clash.

“We’ll field what is our strongest team,” he said.