Portadown manager Niall Currie considers David McCullough the ‘perfect’ signing for the club’s Championship commitments.
Currie has returned to former club Ards to bring McCullough back to Shamrock Park as part of a frantic first post-season week for the relegated Ports.
Garry Breen, Mark McAllister, Sean Mackle, Stephen Hughes, Shane Dolan, Jaime Gardiner, Adam Foley and Jake Richardson have all left the club.
Currie will continue discussions with the players still on the books but can prepare for his first pre-season as Portadown manager with a number of fresh faces.
Philip Carson - who has been working at the Ports across the past few months on a return from long-term injury - will be joined by former Nigeria international Kevin Amuneke, McCullough and Carrick Rangers’ Adam Salley.
McCullough’s previous spell as a Portadown player included the 2008-09 campaign when the club gained promotion out of the second-tier division.
“We will continue to sit down with the guys who finished the season at Portadown and, for example, we offered Stephen Hughes a fresh deal but work commitments left him keen to move closer to home,” said Currie. “Work commitments will continue to prevent Jake from training on a regular basis.
“The work towards signing players is an on-going process.
“Niall Henderson and Mark Carson have agreed deals to stay on so we are delighted with that news.
“When it comes to David, he is the perfect signing for next season in the Championship.
“He ticks every box for me and I count him as one of the Irish League’s most under-rated players.
“He was superb at the start of the season when I worked at Ards and a big part of our strong early run of form.
“He is a top person, a top professional and exactly the right kind of character.
“Ability will not be enough in the Championship, I know that from my past experience at that level.
“We have Niall, Mark, Shea McGerrigan, Matt Hazley and Chris McCaughey all confirmed on board alongside the younger players like Ross Larkin, Luke Wilson and Zac Wilson.
“It is going to be a busy summer but one I am prepared for and we must structure the squad in the right way for our needs next season.
“In terms of the young players, we are excited about the future progress but know they must be used at the right time for the individual and club when it comes to the Championship.
“We need the right kind of attitude and want to get our business done as quickly as possible but also leave room in the budget for when we know players can become available towards the closing stages of the season.”