Callum Ferris has become the third product of Portadown Youth’s development programme in four months to secure a pathway into professional football.
Ferris’ deal covers a two-year scholarship and one-year pro agreement with the Championship outfit that kicks in next summer.
Ferris will join another Portadown Youth player at Middlesbrough following Alberto Balde’s move in April, with Barney McKeown recently confirming his Everton deal.
Ferris holds the record as the youngest Ports player in Irish League history following his senior debut at 15 years old. His progress across the past 12 months from the youth section into the first-team squad has also led to Ferris securing a spot as one of the youngest goalscorers in the Irish League.
The striker will remain on the books at Shamrock Park over the forthcoming season, with trips to England scheduled ahead of his official July 2018 switch.
“We are delighted for Callum and his family,” said Portadown first-team boss Niall Currie. “It is a great reward for the hard work put in by the player and coaching staff across Portadown Youth and the parent club.
“I’ve only been working with Callum for a few months since coming to Portadown late last year but he has impressed.
“The Middlesbrough deal is a fantastic opportunity for the lad.
“Callum works his socks off and has some excellent attributes.
“I am sure he will continue to keep on with that same effort and dedication.
“Callum is following in the footsteps of Alberto and Barney so a great boost for football in this town.
“Credit to Callum, his family and the coaching staff.
“Callum has performed above his age level and made impressive progress, which we look forward to helping him continue before officially moving to Middlesbrough.”