Gary Hamilton marks 10 years in charge at Glenavon

Michael Scott

Reporter:

Michael Scott

Email:

info@yourlurgan.com

Today marks 10 years since Gary Hamilton was appointed manager of Glenavon.

In a wide-ranging interview with Your Lurgan's Michael Scott, to be screened on the club's YouTube channel later this month as part of 'The Mourneview Monthly' series, the former Glentoran striker has been reflecting on the past decade.

“I’m honoured to have been in the job for 10 years,” he said.

“It’s not easy in this day and age to be a manager of one club for so long.

“It makes it even more special as Glenavon is a club I’ve supported my whole life. I’m from here, my Grandad supported them all his life, my Mum and Dad too and of course my two uncles have played for them also, so it makes it really special.

“Bringing success back to the club has meant a lot to me. Bringing the club back to Europe, the Irish Cups, having friends and family in the terraces and stands celebrating the successes has just meant so much. It’s not about me, it’s about the club.

“Finally, I’d like to thank the Chairman and the board for the chance to come here and for putting faith in me, and the Irwin’s too who helped the club with the money to pay my transfer fee. It meant a lot to me that they did that.”

Hamilton was unveiled as Glenavon manager on December 15, 2011 with the club at the foot of the table. His early ambitions were clear.

He told a press conference at the time: “First and foremost we must avoid relegation and then get ourselves into the top six of this league.”

“We must also be in a position to reach cup finals and semi-finals.”

And boy, didn't they.

Two Irish Cup wins in 2014 and 2016 contributed to four European qualifications in five years between 2014 and 2018, including a win at Mourneview Park over a Molde team managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and including a certain Erling Haaland.

And while this season hasn't gone to plan, by Hamilton's own admission, recent wins over Dungannon, Crusaders and Coleraine seem to show that Glenavon have turned a corner.

Hamilton is the second longest-serving manager in the league behind Crusaders' Stephen Baxter, who has been in charge at Seaview since 2005.

He is also the second longest-serving manager in Glenavon's history behind the great Jimmy McAlinden, who was in charge between 1954 and 1968, a 14-year spell.

Hamilton has been manager for 465 games, winning 216, drawing 87 and losing 162 with 944 goals for and 743 against.

Scroll through our gallery of pictures from the past 10 years, with pictures courtesy of Presseye.

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