GLENAVON v LINFIELD, A LOOK AHEAD
On Saturday 16th December 2023 Glenavon faces Linfield at Mourneview Park. The South Belfast club has won fifteen of its nineteen Sports Direct Premiership fixtures and scored forty-eight goals. Despite recent defeats against Larne and Glentoran, David Healy’s men are many people’s favourite to regain the league title. Last Saturday they trailed 3-1 to Dungannon Swifts but scored three second half goals to win a thrilling match 4-3.
Glenavon boss Stephen McDonnell is under no illusions about the size of the task ahead. “Linfield set the benchmark most seasons and I don’t think it is any different this time,” he said. “It is going to be a stern test for myself, the other coaching staff and the players. David Healy has star quality all over the pitch and some of the best young players in the country. I watched Linfield’s game against Dungannon. They dominated the match from start to finish. To go two goals down and win is a powerful demonstration of character and ability.”
Nonetheless Stephen is optimistic about Saturday. “We firmly believe that we have the talent in attacking areas to hurt any opponent in this league. That includes Linfield,” he said. “We respect them, but we certainly don’t fear them.”
McDonnell reports no new injuries and a positive mood amongst the players. “Everyone is rested and revitalised after the extended weekend,” he continued. “This week we have had two really good training sessions. The lads have got what happened at Inver Park out of their systems and are back in a good place both physically and mentally.”
Peter Campbell has recovered from illness and is in contention for a first-team place. However, Danny Wallace is still unavailable due to suspension. Mark Haughey continues his recovery from long-term injury.
Stephen reports that Andy Mooney has elected to re-join Crumlin United. “Andy has a great attitude and was a pleasure to have around, but he wanted regular first-team football, and I could not guarantee him that,” the Dundalk man continued. “Although we are short of out-and-out central strikers, we have some options. In a few weeks Gavin Hodgins will be available to play.”
The match against Linfield is sponsored by former director Noel Cunningham. Noel, who served on the Board during the difficult years of the 1980s, celebrated his 89th birthday this week. He is a near-lifelong member of the Triangle Supporters’ Club and a much loved and respected member of the Glenavon family.
The ball sponsor is Jack Pringle. The ‘Player of the Match’ sponsor is Maynard Collins. Many thanks to all our sponsors.
On Saturday the Park Avenue Takeaway, Avenue Road, Lurgan has agreed to provide food for the Boardroom. Its support is much appreciated.
Glenavon asks its supporters to support its sponsors.
In view of planned industrial action by Translink employees, and the likelihood of increased numbers travelling to the match by car, the PSNI has asked both Glenavon and Linfield supporters to show consideration for residents when selecting parking spots and walking to and from the stadium.
Glenavon v Linfield, Last Season
Linfield 3 Glenavon 2
Linfield 2 Glenavon 1
Glenavon 1 Linfield 6
Other Glenavon teams in action this weekend:
- Monday 18th December 2023 – Glenavon Reserves v Larne Olympic, Mourneview Park, 1945 k.o.
- Friday 15th December 2023 – Warrenpoint Town U-18s v Glenavon U-18s, Bignian Park, Kilkeel, 2015 k.o.
- Saturday 16th December 2023 – Glenavon U-16s v Coleraine U-16s, Gordon Playing Fields, 1100 k.o.
- Saturday 16th December 2023 – Cliftonville U-15s v Glenavon U-15s, The Dub 3G, 1115 k.o.
- Saturday 16th December 2023 – Larne U-14s v Glenavon U-14s, Larne Academy of Sport 3G, 1115 k.o.