Rhys Marshall proving to be an inspiration to Glenavon’s rising stars

Rhys Marshall celebrates is goal against Ballymena United.   Photo Alan Weir/Pacemaker Press
Rhys Marshall celebrates is goal against Ballymena United. Photo Alan Weir/Pacemaker Press

Rhys Marshall may be a young man in terms of age, but in terms of experience he is a real veteran.

Marshall’s undoubted qualities have been on display in the Irish League for the last seven years.

The twenty-four-old-year is rightly considered as one of Gary Hamilton’s senior stars, and he is determined to do all he can to help the next generation of players make the breakthrough at Mourneview Park.

“The younger players know they can come to myself or James Singleton as examples of players who have come up at Glenavon before so know what happens,” he said.

“There has been so much talent over the last few years and they know they can come to us, or even some of the more senior players like Jonny Tuffey or Sammy Clingan, so it’s a good environment.”

Marshall has played in almost every position down the years for the Lurgan Blues.

Last week he starred in a central midfield berth as Glenavon deservedly took the points at home to Ballymena United.

Marshall is hoping they can continue that good form when they travel to Windsor Park today to take on Linfield.

“It’s a big pitch down at Windsor Park and if looking at Glenavon over the past number of years we always seem to play well against the big teams,” he said.

“We’ll be up for it, although Linfield are probably the best team in the league.

“With Linfield’s European commitments they’ve not played too many Premiership games so maybe it is a good time to face them.

“We can go there happy with the Ballymena result and performance and look forward to the match.”

After a sticky start to the season Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton believes his side are getting back on track again.

“In football you never know what can happen and a performance like against Ballymena can only help confidence,” he said.

“With the game against Crusaders and then Ballymena, off those levels of performance we will get more results than we lose and we think back to the recent trip to Scotland and everyone has been excellent since that game.

“We’ve noticed a big difference in training and matchdays and hopefully that’s us out of the rut and we can start looking forward, especially with a lot of players coming back from injury.

“We maybe don’t have enough strength-in-depth to go on and win league titles but, on our day, are good enough to match any team in a one-off game.

“The boys have to believe going to Windsor Park they can get results and go out and perform to that highest standard of previous years.

“There’s nothing to fear and everyone will be expecting Linfield to win with that squad so there’s no pressure on our players.”

With three league wins on the bounce Linfield’s title defence looks to be up and running again after their prolonged European adventure.

Kirk Millar has been in great form for the Blues and he believes they are now back in title mode following their Europa League experience.

“It’s a big difference than playing in Europe – but that’s now gone,” he said.

“We have to start picking point us if we want to regain the title.

“We still have a few games in hand. We had a lot of players out injured against Carrick Rangers, but we still have a lot of quality in the squad.

“We’ve another big game against Glenavon looming at the weekend, so the matches are coming thick and fast,” he added.