Cup countdown is on

Gary Hamilton.
Gary Hamilton.

Linfield are the visitors to Mourneview Park on Saturday for the final league game of the season, but for Glenavon the Irish Cup final countdown is already on.

Four players including Guy Bates, David Rainey, Brian McCaul, who limped off against Crusaders, and manager Gary Hamilton are all nursing minor knocks and will not be risked against the Blues.

With the league title now secured by Cliftonville there will be no final day showdown - Glenavon missing out on a jackpot gate.

However, there should still be a sizable crowd from Linfield as they get the chance to say farewell to manager David Jeffrey who is stepping down after 17 years in charge at Windsor Park.

“We had the prospect of the title going to the wire a few weeks ago,” says boss Gary.

“Now that it is over there is still some focus on the game with David retiring. We will give the young players another opportunity to show us what they can do and what a great opportunity it is to be play in a match like this.

“They will be able to look back and say they played in David Jeffrey’s final game.

“It is a chance for them to get a win. That would be a huge lift for them and I feel it would be fully deserved because they have put so much into the last few games and not got any rewards.

“For me, the chance to use these games like this is a real bonus. We need young players coming through and we need to give them opportunities. Getting to the cup final has allowed us to focus on that and I know it will be of great benefit to us as we develop those given the chance.”

Glenavon received another 1,000 tickets for the cup final on Wednesday and they will be on sale on Thursday night from 5 to 7 at the club shop and before the match on Saturday.

n Fans please note the game with Linfield is now not all ticket.