IRISH LEAGUE: Mackle motivated by ‘different challenge’ at Warrenpoint after Portadown exit

Sean Mackle. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Sean Mackle. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Sean Mackle is keen to kick off a fresh chapter in his Irish League career with Warrenpoint Town after almost a decade on the books at Portadown.

Mackle has signed for Championship champions Warrenpoint to play under former Ports team-mate Matthew Tipton and alongside another past Shamrock Park striker in Darren Murray.

Although familiar faces at the club will include assistant manager David Miskelly and first-team coach Chris Wright - both previously at Portadown - Mackle is excited at the clean slate.

“It is going to be a different challenge after spending time at Portadown as a youth player then coming back to the club after spells in Scotland and with Dundalk,” said the midfielder. “I’m 29 years old now and maybe people don’t think I’ve been around that long because it has always been with Portadown.

“I know Matthew and David have said they want me to add that Premiership experience to what is a young Warrenpoint squad, so that is exciting.

“Warrenpoint came in and made it clear they wanted me to sign, which was a big part of my decision to join the club rather than hold off and wait to see what other concrete offers I had this summer.

“I know Matthew and David as former team-mates and they have placed trust in me so it is a fresh start and exciting.”

Mackle is one name on a long list of players expected to exit Portadown this summer as Niall Currie attempts to rebuild the club following relegation out of senior football and a year played out under the shadow of off-the-field financial issues and Irish Football Association-imposed sanctions.

“I am sad to be leaving the club and it has been a disastrous way to end things at Portadown,” said Mackle. “It is my club and the place I have played my Irish League football as a youth player and for the past eight years in the firsts.

“I’m leaving behind a lot of good memories and good people.

“A major regret is the fact we lost out in three cup finals plus that probably a lack of depth left us coming up short in the league run.

“But I played alongside some brilliant players and I wish the club all the best in the future.”