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Glenavon hand senior debut to 14-year-old goalkeeper Conner Byrne

Incredibly, the teenager impressed enough to start for the Irish side in their Mid-Ulster Cup final match

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Byrne, a Northern Ireland U16 international, became one of the youngest players in Irish league history after making his senior debut in Glenavon's triumph over Portadown on Monday night.

The teenager, who attends Lismore Comprehensive School, started in the 2-1 victory and manager Gary Hamilton was impressed with his display.

"Our regular goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey worked with Conner in the Club NI programme and spoke very highly about the kid," Hamilton told Belfast Live on Tuesday.

"I watched him playing for the U16s against Linfield a few months back and I liked what I saw. He then got his chance with the U20s and he came in and did really well.

"So we had no hesitation putting him in for last night's Mid-Ulster Cup game. Our other goalkeeper James Taylor picked up an injury and it opened the door for Conner.

"He was exceptional. To be fair he didn't have much to do, but what he did have to do he did with confidence. At the end of the day he is only 14 years old, and Portadown wanted to pump high balls into the lad to test him.

"But he came out and punched and caught everything that came at him."

Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer admitted Byrne is attracting interest from English clubs, so watch this space.

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