Arkins to offer Ports youth a senior stage

Vinny Arkins. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Vinny Arkins. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown interim manager Vinny Arkins is keen to use the next few weeks to help integrate the next generation into the struggling senior squad.

Arkins, a former Ports captain and the club’s all-time leading scorer, was promoted from assistant manager last week following Pat McGibbon’s resignation.

Arkins was in charge for the 1-0 defeat by Coleraine and will hit the road tomorrow (Saturday) with Portadown for a trip to take on Ballinamallard United.

The Ports remain bottom of the Dankse Bank Premiership on a minus-six tally of points due to Irish Football Association punishments. The Ballinamallard test will be followed by games against Ards and Glentoran.

Regulations will rule out Arkins’ appointment as first-team manager on a permanent basis as he has yet to start the required UEFA A Licence coaching course.

However, Arkins is determined to maximise the 60-day timeframe afforded Portadown to find the next full-time boss.

“I am willing to help the club in whatever way I can and have had a good chat with the bulk of the squad, asking for a commitment from the players to at least Christmas,” he said. “That period of time gives the group an immediate focus and I am obviously looking at the next few games as key to helping us move forward.

“We also have friendly games planned each Tuesday over the next few weeks, starting with away to Newry City AFC.

“Those games will help us blood the younger players and I am willing to look at anyone who can aid the team.

“All players must start somewhere so it is not about age but about being of benefit to the team.

“I have also made contact with a few potential players the club can possibly bring in during January.”