IRISH LEAGUE: Tuffey happy with hands-on role at Glenavon

Jonny Tuffey. Pic by Pacemaker.
Jonny Tuffey. Pic by Pacemaker.

Jonny Tuffey is relishing the extra responsibility he can expect following confirmation of a long-term contract extension.

Tuffey has cemented his position between the posts as the club’s number one with a string of consistent performances since arriving in Lurgan during the summer of 2015.

An Irish Cup winner’s medal stands as one obvious reward but the 30-year-old also accepts his job extends beyond points and plaudits for a squad in transition.

“I’ve not signed to simply see out my career and understand if I am not performing the club will put someone else in my spot,” said Tuffey. “There is no such thing as a guaranteed jersey for anyone at this club but that helps keep everyone competitive and moving in the right direction.

“The squad is in transition at the minute and now is the time for patience to a degree as new players blood in and we adjust to others leaving.

“That is part and parcel of football, of course, but I am excited about the future here and looking forward to doing everything I can to help Glenavon.

“I have been given the captain’s armband and talking on the pitch is a big part of my game.

“I enjoy the role of a senior player and it is the same for the other more experienced guys in the squad, especially when it comes to helping the younger lads.

“Gary Hamilton has a great track record since he came into management at Glenavon of promoting young players into the senior side, with people like Rhys Marshall, Andy McGrory, Mark Sykes and James Singleton just some of the names.

“Now this season we have Caolan Marron stepping forward and taking his chance, so I am keen to help with whatever way I can to aid the players’ progress.

“Gary obviously will be adding players over the next few transfer windows alongside introducing more young players from the ranks, so all those factors came into my decision to sign such a long-term deal.”

Tuffey appreciates his four-year extension - with the option of a fifth season - marks a sign of both his commitment to the cause and the club’s belief in the ability of the former Northern Ireland international.

“I am delighted and honoured to have that show of faith from the club and want to do everything I can,” said Tuffey. “Caolan benefits from playing alongside experienced defensive partners like Simon Kelly, David Elebert and Kris Lindsay but then you look at how many games the likes of Rhys, Andy, James and Mark have clocked up despite each being so young.

“Then there are the signings Gary has made for now and the summer and all of those decisions help keep the squad fresh.

“The young lads help keep the senior players on our toes and we accept there is a responsibilty to help guide those players as well.

“A lot of credit to the club and management for the hard work put into this squad so far and it is about sorting out one or two areas maybe towards getting that consistency everyone wants for sustained success.”