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Glenavon F.C.

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Full name  Glenavon Football Club
Chairman  Adrian Teer
Arena/Stadium  Mourneview Park
Location  Lurgan
Founded  1 November 1889
Ground Capacity  4,160 (3,200 seated)
2015–16  NIFL Premiership, 3rd
Manager  Gary Hamilton
League  NIFL Premiership
Glenavon F.C. httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaendddGle
Nickname(s)  Lurgan Blues, The Mourneview Aces
Ground  Mourneview Park, Lurgan County Armagh
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Glenavon Football Club is a semi-professional, Northern Irish football club playing in the NIFL Premiership. The club, founded in 1889, hails from Lurgan and plays its home matches at Mourneview Park. Club colours are blue and white. Gary Hamilton has been player-manager of the Lurgan Blues since December 2011 following the resignation of Marty Quinn.

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Glenavon's bitter rivals are Portadown. Their matches are known as the 'Mid-Ulster Derby' and Glenavon's current player-manager Gary Hamilton played for Portadown before joining the Lurgan Blues.

In August 2008, the club appointed a new manager, Stephen McBride, a former Northern Ireland international and a popular Glenavon player during his footballing career, playing for the club during the 1990s. McBride's reign lasted seven months before he was relieved of his managerial duties with Glenavon at the bottom of the IFA Premiership. The Director of Football, Alan Fraser, was also relieved from his duties. The club chairman is Adrian Teer.

Domestic history

Glenavon was the first provincial club to win the Irish League title (1951–52) and also the first provincial club to do the league and cup double (1956–57). The latter triumph also made them the first Northern Irish team to enter the European Cup. Glenavon has had a number of talented and famous players, none more so than Wilbur Cush and Jimmy Jones, who were to the fore in "the glory years" of the Fifties. The success of the 1950s is still the benchmark at the club – the closest the club have come to achieving a league success since came in the 1993–94 season, when but for two late goals in the final match Glenavon would have been crowned champions.

Glenavon enjoyed a good run throughout the 1990s, consistently achieving good placings in the league and winning several cup competitions, including Irish Cup wins in 1991–92 and 1996–97, and were runners-up against Glentoran in the 1995–96 and 1997–98 editions of the cup. The club then suffered a relatively poor spell during the early 2000s, which culminated in relegation to the second tier in the 2003–04 Irish League season. Although they were promoted the following season, Glenavon continued to struggle towards the bottom of the league throughout the remainder of the decade, going through several managers such as Terry Cochrane, Stephen McBride & Marty Quinn until former Portadown & Glentoran forward Gary Hamilton was appointed player-manager in December 2011, managing to steer the club from relegation in the remainder of the 2011–12 Irish League season. This was followed up by a 9th-place finish in the 2012–13 season. The 2013–14 season was welcomed by many as a successful season, the Lurgan club securing a top-six league finish and a return to winning major silverware with the 2013–14 Irish Cup, in which Glenavon triumphed 2–1 over Ballymena United in the final.

Following on from this cup triumph was a successful 2014–15 season. Though Glenavon did not fare as well in the Irish Cup, exiting at the 6th round to Championship 1 side Harland & Wolff Welders, an excellent late run of 7 consecutive wins saw the Lurgan Blues pip their Mid-Ulster rivals Portadown to a third-placed league finish, therefore sealing European football for the 2015–16 season.

The 2015–16 season would be yet another good season for the Lurgan Blues, once again securing Europe on the penultimate matchday by finishing third, on a points total of 69 – the highest achieved by the club since a win became three points in the 1986–87 season. Even more success was to follow, as the club claimed a 2nd Irish Cup win in three years, defeating David Healy's Linfield 2–0 in the final.

European record

Glenavon was the first Northern Irish team to enter the European Cup. In their first tie they drew AGF of Denmark, drawing 0–0 at home and losing 0–3 away.

Glenavon achieved some more notable results in Europe in the 1990s. In the 1992–93 season, they drew both legs of their Cup Winners Cup tie with Royal Antwerp and lost on penalties. In 1995–96 they reached the first round proper of the UEFA Cup (the last Irish League club to do so), and were beaten by Werder Bremen.

Stadium

Mourneview Park is now considered to be one of the best grounds in the Irish League. Along the side of the pitch runs the Geddis Stand (holds roughly 1700) and on the other side the newly built Glenfield Road Stand (holds roughly 2000). One end of the ground has the Crescent Stand (400 seats, and standing area), and at the other end the Hospital End remains undeveloped. In addition to Glenavon's home matches, the stadium is also a regular host for Northern Ireland under-21 matches.

Due to ongoing renovation of Windsor Park, Mourneview Park was chosen as the venue for Linfield's home ties in the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League.

Senior honours

  • Irish League: 3
  • 1951–52, 1956–57, 1959–60
  • Irish Cup: 7
  • 1956–57, 1958–59, 1960–61, 1991–92, 1996–97, 2013–14, 2015–16
  • Northern Ireland Football League Cup: 1
  • 1989–90
  • City Cup: 5
  • 1920–21, 1954–55, 1955–56, 1960–61, 1965–66
  • Gold Cup: 4
  • 1954–55, 1956–57, 1990–91, 1997–98
  • Ulster Cup: 3
  • 1954–55, 1958–59, 1962–63
  • Floodlit Cup: 2
  • 1988–89, 1996–97
  • County Antrim Shield: 2
  • 1990–91, 1995–96
  • Mid-Ulster Cup: 24
  • 1897–98, 1901–02, 1904–05, 1906–07, 1908–09, 1910–11, 1924–25, 1925–26, 1930–31, 1932–33, 1937–38, 1947–48†, 1957–58†, 1965–66†, 1971–72†, 1976–77†, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1998–99, 2004–05, 2009–10, 2010–11
  • North-South Cup: 1
  • 1962–63
  • Charity Shield: 2
  • 1992 (shared), 2016
  • † Won by Glenavon Reserves

    Intermediate honours

  • Irish Intermediate Cup: 3
  • 1907–08, 1910–11, 2004–05
  • George Wilson Cup: 1
  • 1963–64†
  • Bob Radcliffe Cup: 1
  • 1990–91†
  • † Won by Glenavon Reserves

    Junior honours

  • Irish Junior Cup: 1
  • 1897–98
  • Current squad

    Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

    Glenavon FC Academy

    Glenavon FC's Academy consists of teams at Under 7, Under 8, Under 9, Under 10, Under 11, Under 12, Under 13, Under 14, Under 15 and Under 16. There is also an Under 19 team which comes under the auspices of the Senior Club and plays as Glenavon IIIs. The Academy was formed in 2007 as a result of the Irish league licensing requirements and then first team manager Colin Malone appointed Gordon Wylie as academy co-ordinator who joined the club from Lower Maze Youth. Gordon's first task was to bring ex Glenavon legend Stephen McBride back to the club as the Academy head coach. The Glenavon FC Academy is now headed by Ryan Prentice. The Academy currently has three UEFA A Licence and two UEFA B Licence coaches.

    In recent times the Club has introduced various coaching programmes and training camps aimed at increasing the numbers within the Academy. These have included the Glenavon FC Academy Club Affiliation Programme, Schools Programme, Aces, Girls Football and annual Football Camps at Easter, Summer and Halloween.

    References

    Glenavon F.C. Wikipedia


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