Derry City’s 21-year old Ben Doherty has joined Glenavon on loan, initially until January when the League of Ireland clubs begin their pre-season preparations.
The 21 year-old left-sided defender/midfielder is also a NI Under 21 International having made three appearances in the UEFA Under 21 European Qualifiers. He joined the League of Ireland side from Institute, for whom he made 11 appearances and has gone on the make 47 appearances for the Candystripes.
He will probably not be available for tomorrow night’s visit to Newry City AFC as we await International clearance but he should be available for the following home game next Friday night against Ballymena United.
Ben is the son of Eamon Doherty whom many fans will remember from his time as a midfielder for Coleraine and Crusaders.
“We’ve been looking for a left-sided player,” Gary Hamilton explained. “We’ve only got two in the squad which is Andrew Mitchell and James Singleton that have played first team football so it’s something that we lack when we lost guys like Kyle Neill and Bobby Burns, in terms of a quality deliverer of a set play. It’s something that I think is massive in the modern game. Even if you look at the goal that Linfield scored against us on the first day of the season from Niall Quinn’s delivery into the box and they had another goal disallowed from one as well.
“Ben wasn’t getting as much game time at Derry as he wanted and he wanted to get out on loan and experience something different. For his development it’ll be great as well because he’s coming down to a new league which he will have experience up until January.
“He’s somebody that will enhance the squad and stake a claim for a place in the team. We wouldn’t bring him to the club if we didn’t believe he could push for a place in the starting eleven. He’ll have to wait his turn as the boys are doing quite well at the minute but when his chance comes it’s up to him to keep his place.
“He’s another player that gives us versatility as well in terms of he can play left back, he can play centre midfield, he can play left wing and he’s played all three positions for Derry and Northern Ireland Under 21’s. It’s not as if we’re getting a young kid that hasn’t played much; he’s got good experience in the League of Ireland and playing International football for Northern Ireland. He’s young, he’s hungry and he has the qualities to keep his place in the team when he gets the chance.
“Ben joining also allowed us to let Robbie Norton go on loan at Warrenpoint to get the experience he needs. It was on the horizon from the start of the season to benefit Robbie and Glenavon long-term but we were thinking it over because, with the squad at the moment, we don’t have massive numbers but with Ben coming in until January that allowed us to do that for Robbie.”