Rooney finds midweek net as reserves see off champions
PORTADOWN had senior players on the scoresheet – plus one promising prospect – as the Richard Clarke’s seconds defeated the defending IFA Reserve League champions on Tuesday night.
Victory by 5-2 over Cliftonville Olympic arrived courtesy of a Mark Patton double alongside goals from Richard Lecky and Michael McLellan plus a fine strike by Ciaran Rooney.
Rooney, who was recently selected for the senior substitutes’ bench and has been promoted into first-team training, smashed home a long-range drive to cap another encouraging display under Clarke.
“Ciaran did really well and we certainly want to encourage players to get on the ball and express themselves whenever suitable,” said Clarke, the recently-installed player/manager. “It was a great left-foot hit and his progress offers encouragement to the rest of the thirds and reserves that chances will arrive.
“With the Danske Bank Premiership match against Lisburn Distillery called off we had quite a few senior players in the squad.
“It is important to remember that everyone lining out for the reserves has something to prove, either a young lad aiming to make his mark or senior player out to show something to Ronnie McFall.
“It is a shame for the younger players to lose out when seniors get dropped down for fitness purposes but, at the end of the day, everyone is here to best serve Portadown Football Club’s firsts.
“The main thing is the senior players come down with the correct attitude and the young lads learn from that example.
“We have a free Saturday so it gives me another chance to get a look at the lads in training.
“Last weekend we arranged a last-minute friendly with Annagh United seconds and got a good win but also got a good look at the squad.
“Regan McIlveen finished with two goals, with Josh Norton, Jamie Smith and Mark Whitten the other scorers.
“We will be selecting players for the thirds and reserves essentially from the same pool so it is important to build that bond.”
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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