Hedley keen to close out season with winning home performance

James Wright was selected as 'man-of-the-match' winner following Portadown's quarter-final progress past Ballymena in the under 18s' Nutty Krust Tournament. Making the presentation at Chambers Park is Clive Bowles on behalf of Ulster under 19s. Pic by Tony Hendron.
James Wright was selected as 'man-of-the-match' winner following Portadown's quarter-final progress past Ballymena in the under 18s' Nutty Krust Tournament. Making the presentation at Chambers Park is Clive Bowles on behalf of Ulster under 19s. Pic by Tony Hendron.
  • Final fixture to wrap up frustrating campaign
  • Home advantage to close league season
  • Coach Hedley flying high after Schools’ Cup win

Richard Hedley is hoping to cap a dream week with club success on Saturday in the final fixture of Portadown’s Qualifying League campaign.

Hedley - part of the coaching team at RBAI - celebrated Schools’ Cup glory on St Patrick’s Day and wants to finish with a flourish tomorrow by helping guide his club to victory.

A frustrating season has left Hedley and his Portadown seniors playing for pride alone this weekend at home to Ballyclare but the coach is keen to wrap up the season in style.

“We want a win but also the right performance,” said Hedley. “We have struggled for consistency in the league and, for some reason, our defensive work has been an issue compared to previous seasons.

“However, Saturday is a chance to sign off for everyone in the right way and I am confident the players will step up and produce a performance.

“Our trip to Ballyclare earlier in the season was an example of the frustrations felt as we let slip a winning position.

“I am sure that will play a part in the minds of the squad as this weekend offers a chance to make amends.”

Hedley held his final training session of the season last night (Thursday), having missed Tuesday’s due to school celebrations.

“There was a meal after the cup final and it would be great to now get a win with Portadown to wrap up the week,” said Hedley. “I have been with RBAI firsts since 2012 and now reached the Schools’ Cup final on seven occasions, with Tuesday’s win the fourth.

“The difference in terms of time spent coaching the schoolboys and the limited chances to work with the club players is frustrating but you do try to learn from every aspect.

“I love it at RBAI and love it with Portadown.

“Saturday will mark the end of the season for Portadown but then internal work starts on sorting out players for the future.

“For some, Saturday will probably mark a final appearance for Portadown.”

Play will start at 2.30.