Ports target trophy glory on top of player progress

Teenage striker Nathaniel Ferris celebrates scoring against Dungannon Swifts on his first senior start for Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Teenage striker Nathaniel Ferris celebrates scoring against Dungannon Swifts on his first senior start for Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
0
Have your say

Success is measured at grassroots level by more than medals but Portadown thirds tackle Cookstown on Wednesday with Mid-Ulster Youth Cup glory as the target.

The majority of the panel set to step out at Dungannon Swifts’ Stangmore Park to face Cookstown Youth can reflect on progress up the Ports’ playing roster.

Opportunities have arrived to taste reserve-team football on a regular basis, with some - including Nathaniel Ferris - involved in the senior squad.

A derby defeat of Glenavon handed Portadown the perfect start to the Mid-Ulster Football Association-backed competition, with a quarter-final victory over Lurgan Town and last-four clash against Rathfriland Academy the other highlights.

“The players have done so well and many will come into the final squad having gained significant experience with the reserves and even the firsts,” said Chris Wright, manager of Portadown thirds. “Of course, the priority is individual development and moving up a standard offers an excellent test.

“We may go into the cup final as favourites but will prepare in the correct way.

“Every cup final is an opportunity to learn and you gain benefits from every medal, so there is a real desire to win the trophy.

“It has become a priority for the squad, with strong sides out in previous rounds.

“The players can come into the final full of confidence from individual progress this season and will know what is expected in terms of a performance level.”

The target is a third trophy win in as many seasons for Portadown thirds, following glory in the Harry Cavan Youth Challenge Cup final and NIFL Youth League Section B.

Portadown thirds would like to thank club officials for arranging a pre-match meal, plus The Port for additional sponsorship support.

Kick-off on Wednesday will be 7.30.