Stephen Donnelly has been released at his own request and will return to Leinster Senior League club Usher Celtic. “Steo has decided he wants to go back and play at Usher Celtic, “Gary Hamilton explained. “He contacted me on Saturday night and I asked him to sleep on it before he made a final decision but he spoke to me on Sunday and he’s intent on leaving. He’s travelling up and down from Dublin and he’s not been in the team at the minute so it’s been getting to him. I wouldn’t want to force him to stay if he’s not happy.

“It’s been unfortunate for Stephen because still, right until yesterday, I said to him that next season was going to be the season for him because last season he played sixty-odd games in the Leinster Senior League and never got a break right until the week before Europe. In this modern day your body needs a couple of months off but he’s been playing football for nearly a year and a half without a break. I want to thank Steo and wish him all the best. He’s somebody I have a lot of time for and I’ll be keeping in touch with him.”

Steo Donnelly celebrates after scoring his first Glenavon goal. Photo by Maynard Collins

Meanwhile Paddy Burns has followed in his brother Bobby’s footsteps and gone on loan to Knockbreda to obtain more first team experience. The 18-year old made his debut for Knockbreda in a 3-0 win on Saturday. “Paddy wanted to get first team football and it’s something we’ve done with a few of the kids. Paddy’s at that stage when he needs to play men’s football for a few months and we’ll have a look at him in the summer. Hopefully he goes and is a success. The young lads are probably too strong for Reserve team football and they’ll probably learn more and benefit from playing against men every week. They’re not at the level, at this moment in time, of playing in our first team every week but they’re probably too good for the Reserves so we think it’s better if they go out on loan and hopefully we benefit from it in the long run.”