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Teen ace Lavery set for academy.

GARY Lavery, a teenage goals ace from Northern Ireland, is set to sign for Cardiff City's youth academy.

Belfast-born Lavery, who celebrated his 16th birthday this month, has already tweeted his delight at signing for the Bluebirds - and his own profile describes him as a Cardiff City player.

Glenavon FC's official twitter site have also tweeted their congratulations to the striker on joining Cardiff, but officially the final paperwork has not yet been completed and a compensation package is yet to be agreed.

That is not likely to be a problem with Lavery's club, Glenavon, keen to see their young striker progress and join Cardiff.

Northern Ireland under-17 international Lavery, has been a prolific scorer at age-group levels for the Roserio and Aquinas clubs plus County Down representative teams.

He has spent the last two seasons playing for Glenavon and manager Gary Hamilton has given the talented young striker a taste of first-team football.

Lavery is a left-footed striker who was top scorer in the South Belfast Youth League six years ago, scoring 43 goals in 18 appearances for Rosario.

He netted 61 goals for Rosario in one season at under-12 level, During the summer of 2008, he crossed the divide in Belfast to join Rosario's rivals Aquinas FC, scoring 57 goals in 25 games, helping his new team finish runners-up in the league, and reach the South Belfast Cup final.

Lavery signed for Glenavon FC, where former Cardiff player Paul Millar is assistant manager, in 2011 and has now signed a two-year academy contract with Cardiff.

He had two appearances as a sub for Glenavon's first team at the age of 15, scoring in the 6-1 Mid-Ulster Cup win against Richhill.

Lavery will come under the guidance of Cardiff academy manager Dick Bate and his coaching staff next season, playing initially for the under-18 team and then hopefully progressing into under-21 football.

His move from Glenavon to Cardiff looks certain to be formally completed over the next few weeks.
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Title Annotation:Sport; Opinion, Columns
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 31, 2013
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