Saturday 5th August
Kick Off 3.00
Saturday sees us start the domestic 2023-24 season with a visit to Mourneview Park to open the Sports Direct Premiership.
The biggest loss for Glenavon this close season has been the sale of striker Matthew Fitzpatrick to Linfield, while the experienced Eoin Bradley, Michael O’Connor and Andrew Doyle have also exited Mourneview Park over the summer break.
The most notable arrival to date is that of Niall Quinn; the former Linfield man offering a solid option both at left back and central midfield. While there have been 7 other arrivals, all have arrived from Championship and Mid Ulster League sides as manager Hamilton looks to freshen his squad with potential rather than proven IPL talent.
In last season’s only meeting at Mourneview Park, Glenavon inflicted a first league defeat on a previously rampant Glentoran; running out 2-1 winners despite having fallen behind to an Aidan Wilson header in first half stoppage time. So the Glens will fully realise the task at hand in this always difficult venue.
The last opening day game between the sides at Mourneview Park was in August 2019, when a new look Glentoran side were held to a 1-1 draw, in spite of an early Darren Murray goal having provided the lead and the home side playing the second half with ten men, following a 36th minute red card for future Glentoran stalwart Rhys Marshall. It was also a game in which defender Paddy McClean - having made a welcome return to the squad recently - made his league debut for Glentoran as a second half substitute. Paddy is the only Glens player that night still with the club, although Rhys, James Singleton and Jordan Jenkins all started for Glenavon. Of course former Glenmen Calum Birney, Rory Brown and Sean Ward are all regular starters with Glenavon.
Warren Feeney: “I really want to get started in the league. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of good wishes and messages I’ve received, and people approaching me in the street to wish us all the best. It all reminds me just how big a club this is and how important it is that we really start delivering consistently for the fans.
Obviously Mourneview is never an easy place to visit, as the Glens found out last season. Glenavon are always a danger to the nig clubs who play them. They also have a very experienced manager in Gary and a number of very experienced players. We’ll respect that but we know we need to show our quality and our intent right from the start of the season so we’ll be going to Mourneview determined to put in the strongest possible performance and get the win.
We’ve a few lads struggling with niggles – Junior, Jay and Fuad in particular. But they’ll be given every chance to make Saturday’s match. If any of them don’t make it that’ll give another player the chance to prove himself.”
Some adult tickets are available for the away end. These can be purchased online HERE from the Glenavon website.