IRISH LEAGUE: Portadown confirm capture of Amuneke

Former Linfield attacker Kevin Amuneke (left) has signed a deal with Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Former Linfield attacker Kevin Amuneke (left) has signed a deal with Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown’s push to rebuild from relegation has received an early boost with the capture of former Nigeria international Kevin Amuneke.

Irish League fans became aware of Amuneke last year thanks to some sparkling performances with Ballynure Old Boys that led to the 30-year-old signing for Linfield on a short-term contract.

The attacking player has been a long-standing target for Ports boss Niall Currie dating back to his time as manager of Ards and Amuneke is relishing the chance to aid efforts towards staging a rapid return to senior football.

“I’ve been involved in a few training sessions with Portadown and see Niall as an impressive manager, someone who can get the best out of individuals towards helping the team,” said Amuneke, who has represented his country in World Cup qualifiers. “I’m now at Portadown to help the team and have been treated with respect since I arrived at the club.

“I was in touch with Niall during his time at Ards and I admire how he handles and supports players.

“He shared his vision for the future at Portadown and I’m looking forward to doing what I can to help.”

Amuneke has clocked up appearances across his professional career in Portugal, Sweden, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania.

“I’ve spent 20 years living in Europe and know about adjusting to a different challenge and how nothing comes easy without hard work,” he said. “I know what I am capable of as a player but also know the importance of getting in a strong pre-season.

“I’ve not really had a proper pre-season for a few years now so my focus is on putting in the hard work across the summer and then being in a position to help Portadown.”

Amuneke will join former Glentoran midfield ace Philip Carson as a fresh face on the Portadown pre-season books, with the latter having moved to Shamrock Park earlier in the season to continue his rehabilitation from long-term injury.

Niall Henderson will remain at the club after confirming a fresh one-year deal to stay at Portadown.