Annagh United manager Dean Smith has highlighted the double capture of Marc Robinson and Bryan Pentland as a mark of intent by the club in preparation for NIFL Championship One.
Smith shared silverware with both players as part of successful Loughgall squads in the Irish League’s second-tier structure and considers Robinson and Pentland vital as United enhance the panel following last season’s promotion out of NIFL Championship Two.
“Bryan has been out of the game for a while but certainly still in good shape and just needs match sharpness,” said Smith. “He adds strength and communication to the midfield, plus is a great competitor.
“Marc had been handling the double role of player/manager at Derriaghy but just wanted to get back to playing and, thankfully, he opted to join us over a host of other offers.
“He is a great guy to have in the dressing room and knows all about the games ups and downs.
“Marc and Bryan have won basically everything possible at the level we now look forward to playing in so bring so much experience and ability to what is already a talented bunch.
He is a great guy to have in the dressing room and knows all about the games ups and downsDean Smith
“We will need that extra experience and also it is about having a versatile panel.
“We have the majority of the squad wrapped up on deals for the new season, with one or two still in talks.
“We are also working on bringing in other players and want not only options but obviously the right kind of player who can add something to our group on and off the pitch.
“Both signings set out a marker and a great statement as to our ambitions.”
Loughgall’s Mark Stewart has left the club to join Ards but Stephen Hawe, part of the joint management team at Lakeview Park, is confident of adding to the panel.
“We have agreements from the bulk of the group to stay on and just need to complete the paperwork in many cases,” said Hawe. “We are also in talks with potential signings and hope to have some new faces in place when pre-season starts on July 4.
The Portadown Youth annual general meeting will take place in Shamrock Park on Friday, June 26 from 7.30.
Portadown senior players Michael Gault, Robert Garrett and Darren Murray offered support to NI Hospice for the recent charity match between an Irish League Select and Coca-Cola representative side. The match on Friday night at Solitude generated over £1,200.