Glenavon can confirm that Josh Daniels is leaving the club to join Sky Bet League One side Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee.
The winger was just one game away from reaching his century for the Lurgan Blues, having started 90 matches since joining in August 2017, with nine further appearances as a substitute. In that time he found the net on 16 occasions.
The Shrews finished 15th in League One last season and are managed by former Hull, Bolton, Wolves and Coventry defender Sam Ricketts.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton said that Josh leaves the club with everyone’s best wishes.
“I’m delighted that he’s got his opportunity,” Gary told the club’s official website.
“I think everybody knows the tragedy that Josh has been through and the suffering he went through.
“He was at Derry City at the time and we brought him down to Glenavon and told him that we would give him an opportunity. His ambition has always been to go across the water and play full time football, so much so that when we were negotiating his last contract he wouldn’t sign it unless he had a buy-out clause.
“He’s had a drive in him to get there and to be fair, when we spoke in the summer, Josh had told me that no matter what he was leaving next season. That was due to the fact that he wanted to be a full-time footballer.”
Gary explained that Josh spoke to two other Danske Bank Premiership clubs with the aim of achieving his dream of becoming a full-time professional footballer.
In the middle of those negotiations came the call from the New Meadow club and a solution was met which was agreeable to all parties.
“We sat down with the Chairman and we said that if something came up we would be better to do something because he’s going to leave next year anyway,” Gary continued.
“It was better for us to have players who are going to be here long-term and we can’t provide the full-time facility for him because we don’t have the budget.
“It came to the point where he was talking to Larne and Glentoran regarding that and, out of the blue, I received a call from Shrewsbury. I was absolutely delighted for the kid because I knew that had been his dream all along and that was why he had come to Glenavon. He saw that young kids were getting opportunities to go across the water.
“It’s good business for us because we would have lost him for nothing whenever his contract was up. It wasn’t because he didn’t like Glenavon – I’m sure you’ll see when you see his interviews in the coming days that he will speak very highly of the club, the players and the people at the club.”
Speaking highly of the 23-year-old, Gary said Josh has shown a great attitude during his time at the club.
“Nobody deserves this chance more than Josh after what he has been through in his life and what he has put in to get there,” said Gary.
“Sometimes in life it doesn’t come around but sometimes there are people in life who deserve a little bit of luck and things going for them and Josh certainly falls into that category.
“He has been a gem to work with. He’s as honest as the day is long and we all know his ability levels. But it’s more than that – it’s his attitude and his mental toughness is incredible.
“Josh has been strong mentally and at Glenavon he has found a place where he can enjoy his football.
“We give him our best wishes.”