CHRIS Casement (pictured) spent much of last season hoping for Portadown to fail – but this week signed a three-year commitment to playing his part in bringing silverware back to Shamrock Park.
Casement made the switch from Linfield – the Carling Premiership champions – to the Ports – the league runners-up – but has total faith in his choice.
The versatile defender signed off on a trophy-laden two-year spell in Belfast by helping Linfield lift the Irish Cup last weekend but put pen-to-paper on a Portadown contract within 48 hours of popping the champagne.
“It was pretty hectic for a few days but I considered it an easy decision to join Portadown,” said Casement. “I approached the Irish Cup final in a professional way and was glad to be a part of the biggest day in the season.
“After talking to Ronnie McFall I was left really encouraged by his plans for the future of the club.
“Obviously for much of last season it was between Linfield and Portadown for the league so after games we would look for that result.
“We were always aware of Portadown’s quality and, to be honest, injuries and suspensions proved to be a problem.
“Since coming back home from playing in England I have always admired the way Portadown try to play football by passing from the back.
“I think it is a style which suits my game so am looking forward to fighting for a spot in the team.
“My game is not really based on strength but more a case of trying to read the game.”
Casement is one of three players snapped up by the Ports within the past fortnight – with Donegal Celtic’s Darren Murray adding to the striker options and Joe McNeill arriving from Crumlin Star.
Deals were also confirmed last week to keep Neil McCafferty, Garry Breen, Ross Redman (each two years) and Brian Gartland (one year) on the books.
“I know Jamie Tomelty from our time together at Linfield, plus met Ross Redman when he once came over to Ipswich Town on trial,” said Casement. “I am now looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the players.
“Having kept the bulk of last season’s squad together is encouraging on top of the other signings.
“I kept everyone informed along the whole process then wanted to get everything sorted out once the season was over but owe thanks to both Ronnie and David Jeffrey for such patience and understanding.”