Town take a break from league action as they host fellow Mid Ulster team Laurelvale in the First Round of the Tennent’s Irish Cup. With current holders Glenavon only a stones throw away from The Arena the competition gives Town the opportunity to make their way through the rounds of the country’s Elite cup competition. This said, it hasn’t been a kind tournament for Town over the years with the club only ever progressing past round 1 once in their history when they defeated Strabane in 2009.
When asked, manager Chris Kelly had the following to say about the lads chances:
“The Irish Cup draw is one of the big draws we always watch out for over pre season given the prestige of the competition. We got a league double over Laurelvale last season, however that counts for nothing as I expect a much more difficult Laurelvale team this season. They’ve made around eight new signings over the summer, and brought in Darragh Pedan as a player / coach who is a former Irish League player and was a key part of the Moneyslane side who won promotion last season. So it will be a tough game”.
“The early stages of the season is hectic with double fixtures and we’ve suffered slightly for it with six players missing the game today through injury. The main competition for us is the league so we will use the cup to give some guys an opportunity while others recuperate before Tuesday’s league derby game with Oxford Sunnyside. Despite the injuries I’m happy with the depth of our squad and we will be giving it everything we have to try and get the club into that 2nd round draw for only the 2nd time ever”.