McFall to help in search for next Ports boss

Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Ronnie McFall. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown have released a statement from the Board of Directors confirming they “fully support” manager Ronnie McFall.

A run of five consecutive defeats has increased pressure on the long-serving Ports boss.

However, a statement posted on the club website has called for the fanbase to “rally round”.

The release also established McFall will play a role in the search for his “possible successor” at Shamrock Park - a process the directors intend to “initiate shortly”, with the target “a suitable person who can take the club forward and bring more of the success that the club’s loyal fans have enjoyed and deserve”.

As revealed in the Portadown Times, former Northern Ireland international Pat McGibbon has held discussions with club officials and now accepted a role in the backroom team.

The qualified physiotherapist spent 10 years in professional football and has extensive youth coaching experience. As such, the statement described McGibbon as “an invaluable asset to the club”.

The full statement released by the Board of Directors and published on the club website is as follows:

“At a recent meeting of the directors of Portadown Football Club, concern was expressed regarding the current level of the team’s performance and results.

“The Board recognise that most clubs experience difficult periods in the course of season, but the motivation and desire of some of the playing staff was called into question.

“Whilst recognising that it is the manager’s responsibility to select the team he feels best to deal with the opposition on the day, he is entitled to expect those selected, to play to the best of their ability.

“The Board have supported the signing of players recommended by the manager whenever possible and consider that the current squad has the ability to compete with any team in the NIFL.

“We look forward to an improvement in performance, which hopefully, will lead to an improvement in results.

“The Board is delighted to announce that Pat McGibbon has joined the backroom staff at the club.

“He will initially fill the vacancy left following the resignation of the club’s physiotherapist, and we are sure that with his extensive playing and coaching experience, he will be an invaluable asset to the club.

“The Board would like to express their gratitude to Melissa Harrison for her service to the club, and wish her well in her future career.

“The Board fully support the current manager, Ronnie McFall, who has been a tremendous servant to the club, as manager for almost 30 years.

“Ronnie has recognised that the time is approaching for the Board to be thinking about a possible successor, and has kindly offered to help in the process and facilitate a smooth transition.

“We, as a Board, are very grateful to Ronnie for this offer of assistance and intend to initiate the process shortly.

“The Board recognise that to succeed someone of Ronnie McFall’s stature will be a daunting task, but we will try and ensure, to the best of our ability, that we identify a suitable person who can take the club forward and bring more of the success that the club’s loyal fans have enjoyed and deserve.

“It should be recognised that the Directors are also passionate supporters and we trust that the great PFC fan base will rally round, support the club, and we can all look forward to more successful days ahead.”