Currie keen to learn from the past for future tests

Portadown-born Niall Currie with eldest daughter Lauren during celebrations to mark Ards' Championship title triumph. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Portadown-born Niall Currie with eldest daughter Lauren during celebrations to mark Ards' Championship title triumph. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Niall Currie can look back on multiple trophy-winning campaigns in management but is expecting to draw most inspiration for next season from the one black mark on his track record.

Title triumphs at Loughgall and current club Ards - the latest of which secured this season’s Championship One trophy on the final day - remain rewards on which the Portadown-born manager can build his reputation.

However, Currie will turn to the top-flight relegation of 2013/14 for lessons from the past ahead of another senior test.

“First of all, I am proud of how the players performed this season to go up as champions,” said Currie, who started his career in the dug-out at Annagh United. “Promotion was our target and we got it done in the end, with full credit to the players and everyone connected to the club.

“There was a degree of expectation on the club and certain amount of pressure, so I am delighted the hard work led to achieving our goals.

“But the job has only started and next season we want to do it right.

“Hindsight is great but we must learn lessons from our previous season in the Premiership and should look to the past for ways to improve.

“Mental strength is going to be important as last time out we realised there is basically never a break and each game offers a test.

“However, our record against sides in the top six was good but we struggled against teams around us in the table.

“We never got a chance to field our strongest line-up on a regular basis due to injury problems that also knocked out our signings brought in to give us top-flight experience.

“There is a meeting planned with the club chairman to discuss our approach and we may go in with the lowest budget in the division but need to find clever ways of signing players.

“It is about spotting potential and having a fresh, hungry squad with the desire to stay up and give the club something on which to build.”

Currie’s track record at Championship level marks the former Irish League goalkeeper as one of the most successful in the current game. That roll of honour led to links for Currie to the position of Portadown manager before Pat McGibbon’s appointment on a permanent basis.

However, he admits he is relishing the opportunity for another chance to test his personal skills against the best.

“There is a personal challenge, of course, but this is what I want and every manager aspires to reaching the Premiership,” said Currie. “I am proud of my track record but want to continue to build and move the club forward.

“We have a great fanbase and I could not ask for greater support from the club officials, plus I have a brilliant backroom team.

“Next season’s target is just to stay up but we want to stabilise then give it a go down the line.”