IRISH LEAGUE: Hamilton looking long term with Glenavon

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton. Pic by Pacemaker.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton. Pic by Pacemaker.

Weeks of hard work may culminate in a first competitive challenge of the campaign for Glenavon on Saturday, August 12 but manager Gary Hamilton is refusing to put short-term points above long-term progress.

The Danske Bank Premiership fixture list has handed the Lurgan Blues a trip to promoted Warrenpoint Town to kick off the league season.

Glenavon then welcome Ballinamallard United to Mourneview Park for the midweek meeting before another road trip as Ballymena United provide the final test of the first week.

Pre-season preparations will gear up towards those early opportunities to establish ambitions but Hamilton’s view remains on the bigger picture.

“Of course you want a good start but you cannot forget it is a long season,” said Hamilton. “We have seen in the past teams recover from poor starts to finish in a strong position, plus also the other way.

“Players can take time to adjust and settle at a new club, for example, although our two signings in Adam Foley and Andrew Mitchell have both been with Glenavon in the past so should not be a problem.

“However, my view is that the end of the season is always of greater importance than how you start and you just want the players to go out and express themselves.

“In terms of the fixtures we have, you obviously must face every team over the season so I do not mind how it pans out in the running order.

“But Matthew Tipton has certainly built on the work of Barry Gray to establish a good squad at Warrenpoint Town and you can see in the past how promoted teams can get early points on the board thanks to the confidence that comes from a previous run of wins.”