Pat McGibbon has made the first signings of his career as Portadown manager with the double capture of Brendan Shannon and Adam Rodgers.
McGibbon is also close to finalising fresh deals for Keith O’Hara and Ken Oman to remain at Shamrock Park following a positive period of talks.
Shannon, a former Glenavon captain, spent the closing period of last season as Rodgers’ team-mate at Lurgan Celtic and both arrive under an Irish Football Association transfer restriction which prevents the Ports from signing players on professional terms under June 2017.
“Keith and Ken both bring a lot of experience to the dressing room as leaders and role models on and off the pitch,” said McGibbon. “Keith has started his own pre-season work and will be ready to hit the ground running this summer after his injury.
“He is at that transition phase of his career and already helps out with coaching at Portadown Youth so it makes sense to keep that role open to Keith next season as a player but also connection to the backroom team of myself, Vinny Arkins and Trevor Williamson.
“Ken has similar attributes to Keith despite only being at a club a relatively short period of time.
“He is a leader and a player who will look after younger lads on and off the field rather than just stay self-absorbed in his own interests.
“With players coming and going and fresh faces certainly joining the club, that continuity will prove important to helping us move forward.
“Jake Richardson has also signed fresh terms and communication is ongoing and open with the other players at the club, from people like Gary Twigg and Tim Mouncey coming out of contract to people like Garry Breen and Chris Casement under contract but who have stated a desire to possibly leave Portadown.
Additional targets could follow Shannon and Rodgers in quick succession but the outcome over a second IFA disciplinary committee hearing of the year for Portadown has resulted in a delay to progress.
“The reality is we cannot completely finalise decisions on different fronts until the Peter McMahon disciplinary case has been closed with the IFA,” said McGibbon. “People are naturally waiting to see how that situation impacts on the club’s future before making any commitment to stay, sign or leave.
“I am straight in my discussions with everyone so, hopefully, once we finalise the McMahon situation everything can fall into place at pace.
“However, we are pleased to confirm this week the deals for Brendan and Adam.
“Brendan has the attributes of a captain and is a winner on the pitch.
“He is looking forward to the challenge of a tough pre-season.
“Adam is a former Portadown player who left the club and went on to build up Irish League experience with teams like Loughgall and Ards before joining Lurgan Celtic.
“He is a tough-tackling left-back and we are working hard on putting together a squad with the right attributes and commitment to kick off the summer programme and prepare for next season.”