Glenavon can confirm that James Singleton has left the club today to join Glentoran for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year-old left back, who was the club’s captain, leaves Mourneview Park after making a total of 236 league appearances since he made his first team debut nine years ago. In that time, he found the net on 19 occasions.
His transfer comes after he refused a contract extension with the club earlier this year.
During his time with the club, James won the Irish Cup with Glenavon twice and also competed in Europe.
Gary Hamilton told the Glenavon Media team, “We’ve sold James Singleton to Glentoran for an undisclosed fee.
“He was running into the last year of his contract and we approached him at the same time we approached the five other guys who were offered four-year deals.
“We said we would like to extend his deal as well, but like last time, he said he wanted a taste of full-time football. You have to respect his wishes – it’s every young boy’s dream.
“He believes full-time football is something he has missed out on. He didn’t get across the water at 16 and when he was playing for the U21s he broke his leg. He has always missed out on that opportunity to be a full-time footballer and his decision is that he wants to go and do that.”
Gary went on to explain how James’ transfer came around.
“Glentoran phoned us up on Saturday and made an offer. We obviously had to look at it, take into account that he’s in his last year of his contract and could walk for free if he signed a pre-contract in January, meaning we would have got nothing for him.
“In the best interests of our football club, first and foremost, we had to look at it. It was a fee we thought was very acceptable for a player in the last year of his contract, who wasn’t going to sign a new deal. The board met and we obviously accepted the deal.”
Paying tribute to Singy, Gary continued: “I’d like to thank James for his 11 years of service at the club. He’s been here from he was around 15-years-old and this season coming in would have been his tenth year as a first team player. We wish him luck in every aspect of his career.”
Gary confirmed that the search is now on to find a replacement.
“We now have to look for somebody to fill his place – that’s the next job,” he said.
“Whether or not we will be able to get someone in, in this window, remains to be seen.
“It’s been a tough window as it stands so far but we’ll be looking now for a left back.
“If we don’t get one in now we’ll be looking for one between the start of the season and Christmas, but we will certainly do our best to get someone in now.”