Irish Cup final: David Healy seeking first trophy as manager

Linfield captain Andrew Waterworth with Kris Lindsay of Glenavon
Linfield captain Andrew Waterworth with Kris Lindsay of Glenavon
Tennent's Irish Cup final: Glenavon v Linfield
Date: Saturday, 7 May Venue: Windsor Park Kick-off: 14:30 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One Northern Ireland, BBC Sport website and Radio Ulster.

Northern Ireland's record scorer David Healy will attempt to win his first trophy as a manager when Linfield take on Glenavon in the Irish Cup final.

Healy took over from Warren Feeney in October and the Blues were title contenders until finishing Premiership runners-up behind Crusaders.

Linfield's last Irish Cup triumph was under David Jeffrey when they completed the double in 2012.

Glenavon hope to win the competition for the second time in three years.

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Glenavon player-manager Gary Hamilton on hero Healy

Linfield will have home advantage as the cup final is traditionally staged at their Windsor Park ground in Belfast, Northern Ireland's international stadium.

Healy, 36, enjoyed many memorable moments at the venue, notably Northern Ireland's winner against England in 2005 and hat-trick in the 3-2 victory over Spain the following year.

"Linfield showed a lot of faith in me, giving me the opportunity to be manager," said Healy, scorer of 36 goals for Northern Ireland.

"Personally, winning the Irish Cup would mean a great deal to me. But it would mean a lot to the players as well, especially those who have been at the club for a few years."

Gary Hamilton and David Healy played in the same youth league
Cup final managers Gary Hamilton and David Healy played in the same youth league

Healy v Hamilton

Former Rangers and Fulham star Healy will be up against a familiar face in Saturday's showpiece as he has known Gary Hamilton since his youth league days.

"We go back a long way, I played at Lisburn Youth when he was there and I was at Blackburn when he was at Man United, so we saw each other at school every Thursday," said player-manager Hamilton, 35.

"I was lucky enough to be in a few Northern Ireland squad when he was top man and banging the goals in."

Hamilton has earned praise for the progress Glenavon have made since he took over at Mourneview Park midway through the 2011/12 season.

In his second full season in charge the Lurgan club won the Irish Cup and they have finished third and qualified for Europe in the last two campaigns.

Glenavon are aiming for a second Irish Cup final win in three seasons
Glenavon are aiming for a second Irish Cup final win in three seasons

Linfield favourites

Linfield, league runners-up and playing on their own pitch, are favourites with the bookmakers.

But Glenavon, having pulled off a remarkable 4-3 win over champions Crusaders at Windsor in the semi-finals, will fancy their chances of more silverware.

In the two Premiership matches between the sides at Windsor this season, Linfield won 4-3 in September under previous boss Feeney, and February's fixture ended in a 1-1 draw.

Healy missed a chance to land his first trophy as Blues boss in January when they lost 3-2 to Ballymena in the County Antrim Shield final.

Kevin Braniff scored all four goals in Glenavon's semi-final win over Crusaders
Kevin Braniff scored all four goals in Glenavon's semi-final win over Crusaders