Glenavon seal deals for Kelly and O’Brien

Simon Kelly on show in the Irish Cup final. Pic by Pacemaker Ltd.
Simon Kelly on show in the Irish Cup final. Pic by Pacemaker Ltd.

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton has secured fresh deals for Simon Kelly and Declan ‘Fabio’ O’Brien - and considers the commitment from both players a sign of increased belief in continued progress.

Defender Kelly confirmed a two-year contract last week, with O’Brien and Hamilton putting in place a one-year verbal agreement to be formalised once both next meet.

“I consider Simon one of the most under-rated defenders around and he is extremely reliable week in, week out, which is the kind of consistency you build your team around,” said Hamilton. “We have talked with ‘Fabio’ and agreed everything on his one-year deal but just need to actually sign the paperwork now.

“I am still out of the country on holidays so can finalise that when I get home, plus the aim is to talk to people like Ciaran Martyn and Kris Lindsay.

“We want to keep the squad together and add to it with quality as much as possible this summer.”

Hamilton feels the widespread commitment across the Mourneview Park panel is an example of the group desire to keep moving forward.

“Every top club needs a squad of 20-plus players that creates competition for places,” said Hamilton. “It is great to see players willing to stay and fight for that jersey.

“One of the toughest decisions of my life was to leave out Fabio from the Irish Cup final side and you look at Mark Patton coming in and doing so well.

“That is football, with players coming in and out for various reasons, so we have to make tough choices.

“The one thing every player knows at this club is that selection decisions are made on form not reputation.”