Ports plan talks to appoint boss

Keith O'Hara celebrates at the final whistle on Saturday. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Keith O'Hara celebrates at the final whistle on Saturday. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown directors have planned talks to discuss a permanent replacement for Pat McGibbon as first-team manager.

Vinny Arkins enjoyed a welcome win in the Ports relegation battle during last weekend’s Danske Bank Premiership programme.

Arkins was promoted from the role of assistant manager to interim boss following McGibbon’s surprise resignation and Saturday’s visit to Ballinamallard United helped the former Ports captain kick off life in the hot-seat with a vital victory.

However, Arkins does not hold the required coaching qualifications so cannot take up the position on a full-time basis. The club have a 60-day timeframe in which to appoint a qualified replacement, following McGibbon’s decision to step down on October 14.

“We are aware of the timescale,” said Portadown chairman Roy McMahon. “Everyone is delighted with the result at Ballinamallard and we want Vinny and the players to be able to concentrate on games.

“However, work is going on behind the scenes to move the process forward.”

Portadown tackle Ards at home tomorrow (Saturday) in the knowledge that victory would put the club on a zero tally - 14 games into a season which started with the Irish Football Association imposing a 12-point deduction.

Ards arrive at Shamrock Park with Portadown-born manager Niall Currie considered by many supporters in contention for the role of McGibbon’s successor. Former Ports striker Matthew Tipton would also attract support from within the Ports fanbase, with the Warrenpoint Town coach significantly linked last season before McGibbon’s appointment.