Waiting game on Ports progress for McGibbon

Portadown manager Pat McGibbon. Pic by Pacemaker.
Portadown manager Pat McGibbon. Pic by Pacemaker.

Portadown manager Pat McGibbon is confident of moving forward with summer signings - but must first focus on a resolution to internal issues.

Transfer requests have been lodged by Chris Casement, Garry Breen and Ross Redman following the Shamrock Park club’s final-day escape from the Irish League relegation zone.

Transfer sanctions imposed by the Irish Football Association will prevent McGibbon from rebuilding his Ports panel with the addition of deals on professional terms.

With uncertainty still surrounding last season’s roster, McGibbon admits ongoing discussions involving the Board of Directors, manager and players must take priority.

“I have been spending a lot of time holding negotiations to move everything forward,” said McGibbon. “I am confident everything can move at pace, with agreements in place with a number of names.

“However, we must first clear up the situation with who is going to stay or go from last season to kick off pre-season with a clean slate.”

Portadown manager Pat McGibbon has spent his summer working on securing fresh faces for a first full season as permanent Shamrock Park manager. The former Northern Ireland international is hopeful of moving forward at pace once ongoing issues can be resolved

One player on course for an exit is defender Casement following confirmation by club officials this week of a decision to accept his transfer request.

McGibbon confirmed his commitment to youth development by promoting a number of players into the senior panel during last season’s run of games in the manager’s role.

Confidence in future progress can arrive from the reserves’ promising form across the closing stages of the campaign.

A 2-0 defeat of Carrick Rangers closed out the reserves’ league season in eighth position following nine wins from the final 13 fixtures.

The thirds’ third successive campaign with silverware, alongside a progressive debut in the top-flight league tier, can also offer encouragement to McGibbon.

Both teams offered a consistent pathway of promotion for Portadown Youth prospects.