Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer was delighted to welcome Leeds United Academy staff Adam Underwood (Academy Director), Terry Potter (Head of UK Recruitment) and Dougie Bell (Chief Scout) to Mourneview Park recently to finalise the finer details of a “development partnership” between both clubs.

“Partnerships are seen by Glenavon as an essential way forward for the development of local players, coaches and academies” said Mr Teer. “Glenavon is equally pleased to have recently agreed a closer working relationship with one of Northern Ireland’s most respected and largest youth football clubs Lurgan Town. This will add to our already strong links with local schools such as the Lurgan Junior High and St Ronan’s College.  Both schools are also recognised for their successes on the sporting field.”

Glenavon Academy chairman Colin Adamson said “Unfortunately resources within Northern Ireland football are limited and only through clubs, schools, governing bodies etc. working together can we get close to bridging the gap between professional academies in England and local Northern Ireland Academies. Add to this the professional experience and guidance of one of England’s largest clubs and we have no doubts that once fully implemented this development partnership with Leeds United, Lurgan Town, Lurgan Junior High School and St Ronan’s will establish a solid foundation for all our young players and coaches within Lurgan and its surrounding area.”

Glenavon and Leeds United have a shared past. No better example is local man, Glenavon club legend and former Northern Ireland international Wilbur Cush who joined Leeds United in 1958 and went on to take over the club captaincy from legendary superstar John Charles. More recently a Leeds United X1 played Glenavon at Mourneview Park as part of the transfer deal involving Robbie McDaid in July 2014.

“We would wish to thank everyone at Leeds United for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment in bringing this development partnership to fruition” added Mr Teer “and we look forward to a successful togetherness in the years that lie ahead.”