Gary Hamilton hails Glenavon signings as "quite a coup"

Gary Hamilton feels it was "quite a coup" for Glenavon to tie influential duo Matthew Fitzpatrick and Peter Campbell to new long-term deals.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 9:57 am
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 9:58 am

The pair made a real impact for the Lurgan Blues in their debut season for the club with Fitzpatrick finding the net 14 times and midfielder Campbell notching up 14 assists.

Hamilton was obviously keen to keep the players at Mourneview Park and is delighted they have committed to another three years.

“Both of them have come in and this is their first real year in Premiership football. They have been superb,” he told the club website.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (right) and Peter Campbell (left) have signed new deals with Glenavon
Matthew Fitzpatrick (right) and Peter Campbell (left) have signed new deals with Glenavon

“It’s really only Fitzy’s second year in football, never mind in Premiership football. He started off at Belfast Celtic for a year and he did really well there. We tried to sign him at that stage but he opted to go to Coleraine.

“He didn’t really get playing there so he came back to us and asked if we would give him another crack. There was no hesitation on my part because I knew the quality he possessed, the type of lad he is and the energy he has.

“For a gaelic footballer who has only taken up soccer at 24 he’s extremely talented. His touch and ability is second to none.

“I felt that towards the end of the season, and the type of player he is, he’s probably one of the best of the league in terms of holding the ball up, bringing others into the game and running into the channels.

“Peter brings so much energy and he reminds me a lot of Joel Cooper. He was one of the bright sparks of last season.

“We said to him when we brought him in that if he does well we would sit down, talk to him and try and extend his deal, which we’ve managed to do.

“He’s a kid that I love working with. He’s as honest as the day is long in terms of his work rate and his effort on the pitch, but he’s also quality.

"The one challenge I’ve set for him is to try and get a few more goals into his game because he’s got that in his locker. You only have to see what he can do in training and look at what he did for Loughgall to back that up.

“I know from talking from him he’s really enjoying his time at the club. The one thing that he and Fitzy have both missed is playing in front of a crowd so they don’t know the full picture of Glenavon Football Club but certainly what they’ve seen of it, they’ve enjoyed it.

“Hopefully over the next few years we’ll get to see them both in their prime and hopefully we will get the benefit of that,” he added.