On Saturday 23rd December 2023 Glenavon welcomes Crusaders to Mourneview Park for its next Sports Direct Premiership fixture. Following an encouraging start to the season, the Crues have dropped off the pace in the title race. A series of defeats against Top Six opposition has left them marooned in fourth place ten points adrift of third placed Cliftonville. Nonetheless, the North Belfast men, particularly away from home, have achieved consistently good results against the Bottom Six.

Glenavon boss Stephen McDonnell expects a challenging 90 minutes. “Crusaders have a very experienced team and an equally experienced manager,” he said. “They are probably disappointed with their recent form but that does not make them any less formidable opponents. It will be a really difficult game for us.”

McDonnell will have to do without suspended duo, Robbie Garrett and Matthew Snoddy. (Matthew picked up his sixth booking against Linfield.) On a more positive note, Danny Wallace is available again and there are no new injury concerns. “We have had a man sent off in our last two home matches, so the first prerogative is to keep eleven men on the pitch,” he explained. “Then it is a question of whether we can match or better Crusaders for effort and the other fundamentals.”

The Glenavon manager reports that the players have again trained well this week. “Everyone worked hard,” he continued. “On Thursday night we went through a number of things in terms of how we intend to approach Saturday’s game. Hopefully the players can implement the plan.”

McDonnell has now been Glenavon boss for three months. So far, he has thoroughly enjoyed the experience. “The time has flown by,” he added. “The fact that we have managed to considerably improve our league position and make progress in the League Cup has been a big plus. Hopefully, we can build on these positive performances and results in the coming weeks.”

Finally, Stephen wishes all Glenavon supporters, compliments of the season. “Happy Christmas to everyone,” he concluded. “Hopefully, we can put more smiles on faces during the holiday period.”

The match against Crusaders is sponsored by Avondale Foods (Craigavon) Limited. Avondale, established by former Glenavon director Derek Geddis, has been a faithful commercial backer for many, many years.

The ball sponsor is the Leather Restoration Company. This Portadown-based business is a highly reputable restorer of leather items. The ‘Player of the Match’ sponsors are faithful supporters Barry Craig and Ethna Ferran.

Many thanks to all our sponsors.

Finally, when Glenavon met Crusaders at Seaview in September 2023, the home side won 2-0.

Glenavon v Crusaders, Last Season
Date Result
15/10/22 Crusaders 3 Glenavon 2
10/01/23 Glenavon 4 Crusaders 2
14/02/23 Glenavon 2 Crusaders 2


Other Glenavon teams in action this weekend:

(Free Admission to all games)

  • Wednesday 27th December 2023 – Linfield Swifts v Glenavon Reserves, Midgley Park, 1945 k.o.
  • Friday 22nd December 2023 – Glenavon U-18s v Glentoran Colts, Lurgan Junior High School 3G, 2000 k.o.
  • Saturday 23rd September 2023 – Glenavon U-16s v Warrenpoint Town U-16s, Lurgan Junior High School 3G, 1100 k.o.