PORTADOWN will discover the focus of this summer’s Europa League programme on Monday – with Roy McMahon and David Jameson set to represent the club at the official competition draw in Switzerland.
The club chairman and vice-chairman will be in attendance at the Nyon ceremony – with Ports boss, Ronnie McFall, set to connect to the live draw via internet coverage and mobile phone.
First-qualifying round ties on July 5 and 12 provide the reward for Portadown finishing as runners-up in last season’s Carling Premiership.
“We deserve it after our league form and everyone has certainly come back in good shape for pre-season,” said the Ports boss. “We have our first pre-season friendly this weekend in Belfast against Cliftonville so that will help add to the fitness work put in so far.
“Some people have missed a few sessions due to family and work but that is expected, however, everyone is excited and looking forward to hearing the draw outcome next week.
“Reaching the second qualifying round of the Europa League in 2010 was a brilliant experience and we always view playing in Europe as a chance to represent not only the club and Irish League football but also the town.
“Pre-season has started well and it is great to see Tim Mouncey and Matthew Paget working back from cruciate operations.
“There is no progress in terms of bringing anyone else in to the club but, at present, the focus is on pre-season and getting ready for Europe.
“I haven’t even really spent too much time looking at the Carling Premiership fixtures.
“Last season we lost our first match away so it will be nice to have a home game this time and a win over Lisburn Distillery would be the ideal start.
“However, we have a lot of work to do before turning our minds to the opening league game.”
Portadown will take on Crusaders away next Thursday then welcome Knockbreda Parish to Shamrock Park on Saturday, June 30. Other friendly dates confirmed are home ties with Harland and Wolff Welders (July 28) and Malachians (August 1).