Millar’s message of gratitude to Irish League football family

Glenavon's Assistant Manager Paul Millar.  Photographer - Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Glenavon's Assistant Manager Paul Millar. Photographer - Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Paul Millar has expressed his thanks to the football family for such widespread and heartfelt backing during a time of personal grief.

The Glenavon assistant manager returned to the matchday dugout on Saturday at Mourneview Park against Dungannon Swifts following the sudden death of his son, Philip.

A minute’s silence was observed in the recent Irish Cup quarter-final game with Portadown at Shamrock Park and representatives from the world of football turned out in support of the Millar family at last week’s funeral.

Glenavon players, management and backroom staff plus directors formed a guard of honour outside the church at the funeral,

Past players were in attendance along with current managers and figures from within the game.

“This football club has been really good to me and so supportive,” said Millar following Glenavon’s 2-0 win over Dungannon Swifts on Saturday. “It has been an awful week but I could not thank everyone enough.

“I don’t want to miss anyone out as the support from so many people means so much.”

Following the personal message of gratitude, Millar then turned his focus to football and a win over the Swifts which confirmed Glenavon’s position inside the top six of the Danske Bank Premiership.

“We looked at a really strong Dungannon team before kick-off and it’s always tough as Rodney McAree has done a smashing job,” said Millar. “You get nothing for nothing against Dungannon but I felt the first half was a brilliant game of football and the second half a really professional performance.

“If we could have scored a third then great but at 2-0 we did not want to make any mistakes.

“It was as complete a performance we could have asked and we managed to grind them down.

“We won the game because we played well, rather than Dungannon being poor.

“As long as you get honesty from the players that is all we ever ask from the viewpoint of the manager or coaching team.”

Millar maintains targets remain before the final kick of the campaign and, despite early expectations, considers progress on course with club goals.

“I think over the last few years we have managed to push on across that last third of each season,” he said. “Hopefully it will happen again, we are in the semi-finals of the Irish Cup and, now, top six of the league.

“At the start of the season people were pushing the expectation levels through the roof.

“I made my playing debut as a 16 year old and am now 50, with a career at various levels.

“I know it’s not about coming third one season, adding players and automatically winning the league.

“From inside the club we looked on third as our target, with clubs like Coleraine, Ballymena and Cliftonville all adding well.

“Now we still have the Irish Cup semi-final and inside the top six of the league, compared to a few years ago.”