DAVID McAllister is set to hold his place in the Glenavon line-up after impressing on his debut last Saturday.
The U18 star – brother of Donegal Celtic midfielder Eamon - was fast-tracked to the first team by boss Gary Hamilton, who was impressed by the performance of the left-winger and has tipped him for a big future ahead.
“I thought David was very good,” Hamilton told the ‘MAIL.’
“It’s very encouraging that Andrew Mitchell has done very well in recent weeks and now David has come in and I thought he was exceptional.
“Anytime he got the ball, you thought something was going to happen. That’s what you want from a winger. The most encouraging thing in a winger’s game from a manager and a striker’s point of view is that he’s very direct. As soon as he gets past his man, he tries to get the ball into the box as opposed to trying to beat the full-back again and again.
“That’s what I want and if he keeps doing that then he’ll have a bright future at Glenavon and who knows after that. “He came into training on Thursday night and he stood out a mile so I thought what is there to lose? He proved my decision to be right with his performance.
“There’s no reason why he won’t start again on Saturday. I’ve always said that if you play well, you’ll keep the shirt. In my opinion, David and Brian McCaul were probably our pick of the players.
“It’s only one game but the signs are very pleasing and hopefully he continues to show that form.”
Hamilton also confessed that he received a tip-off regarding McAllister’s talents from a former Glentoran team-mate after becoming Glenavon boss in December.
He said: “As soon as I took over at the club, I got a text message from Sean Ward saying that I should get David into the first team squad straight away. I asked Brendan (Grimes) about him straight away and he said he was a good player but he was injured for two months so he’s only been back in training the past couple of weeks.”
Hamilton also held special praise for Brian McCaul after Saturday’s narrow defeat, admitting that he saw a new and unexpected side to the 21 year-old star.
“I think Brian was one of the best players on the pitch on Saturday and he showed something that I didn’t know he had in doing the job he did on Chris Morrow. There’s very little that Brian doesn’t have in his game,” said the boss.
“We analysed the game last week and everything that happened for them came through Chris Morrow. We had somebody to do a job on him last week but it didn’t have the same effect as the boys had on Saturday.
“We all know Brian McCaul’s a central midfielder and wants to play in there but we had looked at him as an attacking midfielder because he’s a goalscorer. We thought that having three attacking midfielders in there in McCaul, Doherty and Cherry might not work out but Brian said he fancied doing a job on Morrow and when you watch the game, Chris didn’t do much.
“That’s a credit to Brian because in my opinion Chris Morrow is the best midfielder in the league and compared to the week before, he contributed very little to the game.”