Arkins’ delight at Ports return

Vinny Arkins and Ronnie McFall celebrate the club's Irish League title triumph in 2002. Pic by Pacemaker Ltd.
Vinny Arkins and Ronnie McFall celebrate the club's Irish League title triumph in 2002. Pic by Pacemaker Ltd.
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Portadown legend Vinny Arkins will walk out at Shamrock Park on Saturday for the first time in over a decade.

The club’s all-time leading goalscorer, who left following the 2005 Irish Cup triumph, has been added to the backroom coaching team by interim Ports boss Pat McGibbon.

McGibbon was this week confirmed as manager for the rest of the season following Ronnie McFall’s resignation on Saturday.

McGibbon, a previous player who joined the club this campaign as physio, will work towards a winning start to his third role when Coleraine visit town.

The arrival of Arkins will offer the Portadown fanbase a vital lift and the former captain is keen to hit the ground running.

“I said after the news of Ronnie stepping down that I would be happy to help out in any way possible,” said Arkins, who has been coaching senior and youth players at Malahide United. “Pat got in touch this week and it was great to be involved in training.

“I am delighted to be back connected with Portadown and the players seemed to respond well to training.

“There was a good buzz around training but the players had real focus.

“I have spent a lot of time at Malahide coaching the senior teams and youth players.

“I really believe if you put in the hard work on a Tuesday and Thursday then Saturday becomes that much easier.

“I enjoy the one-to-one coaching with players so am looking forward to that chance to work with the whole squad, especially the strikers.

“It is clear that we have been conceding too many goals and not scoring enough but everyone is determined to turn it around.

“We want to get the smiles back on the faces of every connected to the club.”