Mark Sykes left the Mourneview Park pitch to a standing ovation last night with a scoring appearance in Glenavon’s 4-0 victory over Coleraine.
Opportunities for the Glenavon fanbase to appreciate Sykes’ ability appear to be running out as he moves towards finalising a move into full-time football.
“Port Vale are in the driving seat as we’ve accepted a bid but I know a few other clubs were watching him tonight,” said Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton. “I’m sure he will be going across in January and we certainly want Mark to go and experience it, so it’s up to the player and his agent now.
“Mark will be a loss to any team but we want players to go on and build a career.
“The Irish League is a great league for young players to learn their trade but cannot provide the opportunities and wages available in England.
“Someone like Mark, if playing in England now, might be pushing for the Northern Ireland squad as he’s a gifted boy who has done well for the international under 21s.
“Maybe not playing for a full-time club has hampered Mark getting a call-up at some stage.
“He’s a tremendous talent, I’ll never forgot his first game at 15 years old down at The Oval.
“He’s a gifted boy who works hard on and off the field.
“Over the past six years he has been getting better and better, he’s developed in the right way and tries to learn all the time.”