Andy Hall and Andrew Doyle have tonight (Tuesday) signed new contracts that will see them remain at Mourneview Park until 2021.
Gary Hamilton was delighted to have secured the services, for another three seasons after this, of two players who he described as “invaluable members of the squad” when he broke the news to the website on Tuesday night.
“Doyler, last year when he joined us in pre-season, struggled with his knee a little bit, a problem he had from when he was at Carrick, and it went on him again. He was training and playing and he wasn’t 100% and he never really got a proper run of training and playing games and it hampered him. We got him looked at and he needed an operation which took him into February time and with missing pre-season we didn’t get to see the best of him last season.
“One of the biggest complements I could pay Doyler is that he’s one of the best defenders that I ever played against in my career. I played against him twice at Ballyclare and twice at Carrick and in those games I always found him one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult, defenders I ever played against. When we were looking for a centre half at the start of last season he was one that came onto my radar and I don’t think many other people at the time were considering him so from my point of view, I had the benefit of being a centre forward who had played against him and found out how tough it was.”
“He’s shown a lot of maturity this year and experience and he’s listening and learning and he’s been one of our most outstanding performers from the start of the season so great credit must go to him and he’s fully deserving of the extension of his contract.”
Moving on to Andy Hall, Gary explained that, before he signed the midfielder, he had watched him quite a bit while he was playing for Bangor and he also knew him when both were at Glentoran. “He’s somebody that I think is probably the most underrated footballer in the Irish League. I know I and the staff at our club think very highly of him and the players who play with him think a lot of him and rate him very highly but, on the whole he doesn’t get the credit that he he deserves. I would say if you did a statistics survey over the last four or five seasons, if Andy Hall’s not at the top of the list in terms of assists, I’m sure he’s in the top three.
“What he gives us is unbelievable attitude, work rate and unbelievable ability to cross balls into dangerous areas for strikers to go and attack, and his set pieces are superb. He’s not a winger that will beat two or three players, he’s not that type of player, but neither was David Beckham and he was probably one of the best players in the world at that stage, in his position. Andy’s been an invaluable member of the squad over the last few years and again his attitude, his mannerisms, he’s a joy to work with and a joy to have about the Club.
“He hurts when he plays a bad game and he’s somebody that you appreciate having around you and he’ll not rest on his laurels and hopefully he can keep putting in the performances that he has been, as well as Doyler, and both of them will get better and better.”