Hawe aiming to add to happy memories in Lurgan

Steven Hawe.
Steven Hawe.

Hawe has played on the Mourneview Park pitch as a raw teenager with visiting Coagh United, plus as a player bolstered by full-time experience on show in Glenavon colours.

Now he will arrive as part of a coaching team keen to craft an Irish Cup moment of magic by helping Loughgall to victory over Glenavon.

“I came on as a substitute in 2007 for Coagh during the Irish Cup quarter-final with Glenavon,” said Hawe. “I got a few minutes near the end and it was just before I went across the water to Blackburn Rovers, with Ray McCoy and Mark Glendinning at Glenavon around that time.

“Sharing a pitch with some of those big Glenavon names was a real moment for me as a 15 or 16 year old.

“Then I had a few seasons at Glenavon after coming home from England, in the same squad as players like Gerard McMahon, Pete Batey, Shane McCabe and David Scullion.

“I remember us reaching the Irish Cup quarter-finals but losing out to Limavady United.

“Glenavon is a good club and a family club.”

Glenavon recorded a 4-1 win over Coagh in 1997 and went on to win the knockout trophy that season thanks to success against Cliftonville in the final.

Hawe may not have happy memories from that 1997 cup run but can draw inspiration from Loughgall’s progress in the same season.

The Villagers marched into the semi-finals of the Irish Cup - with a quarter-final replay victory over Coleraine one of the highlights in club history.

A repeat result this weekend would add another memorable chapter to Loughgall’s proud Irish Cup tradition.

“I was also at Blackburn with Gary Hamilton and it is great to see him doing so well as Glenavon manager,” said Hawe. “My time as a Glenavon player was during a difficult period for the club in terms of results.

“It was probably the starting point for the modern rebuilding and Gary has done a tremendous job.

“He is a real players’ manager and has a brilliant commitment to promoting youth.

“I still keep in touch with Gary and we have managed to benefit from his youth focus by bringing people like Jamie Rea and Andrew Drylie to Loughgall.

“Both Jamie and Andrew will be unavailable to play this weekend against Glenavon but have really settled well at the club since coming in from Glenavon.

“Gary is keen to promote youth and also send players out to gain experience to try and benefit everyone.

“I have some great memories of my connections to Glenavon and it would be something special to add to that this weekend.”