FOOTBALL: Paddy McCourt gives away winners medal

Paddy McCourt gave his first Irish League medal away to young Glenavon fan Zach McCann.

Paddy McCourt gave his first Irish League medal away to young Glenavon fan Zach McCann.

Northern Ireland international Paddy McCourt was a winner on and off the pitch for Glenavon on Saturday.

The talented midfielder played his part in the Lurgan Blues men’s narrow victory over Crusaders in the NI Hospice Charity Shield encounter at Mourneview Park and then the ex-Derry City man gave his winners medal away to young Glenavon fan - Zach McCann.

The 32-year-old, who was captain on Saturday, was delighted to get some match time under his belt, in what was a bruising match against the Premiership champions.

“It’s another 60 minutes and it’s only my second game in three-and-a-half months, but it was good to play for an hour,” said McCourt.

“I got tired a wee bit at the end because the plan was to play 45, but the extra 15 will do me the world of good. I know it was only the Charity Shield, but it was great to get the win and start the season off with some sort of silverware.”

“There were a few tackles flying in, but I think it was played in good spirit. There were a few clashes of heads, but they were genuine attempts to get the ball.

“Our red card was one of those when the referee had no option because it was an obvious goal-scoring chance.

“It was a good game with a few tasty challenges, but I certainly don’t think it was a dirty game.

“That was more like a proper league game than a friendly and both teams went for it.

“There was no holding back and that is great preparation going in to next week.”

The ex-Celtic man, who signed for Glenavon only a few weeks ago, says he’s settling in nicely.

“I’ve enjoyed it so far. Glenavon have a great bunch of lads and I knew Gary (Hamilton) before and I knew Windy (Paul Millar) a wee bit before, but I’ve really enjoyed it so far,” he added.