Portadown sign striker manager Matthew Tipton first spotted at 10 years old
Portadown manager Matthew Tipton has praised the progress of his latest close-season capture - a former Portsmouth striker familiar to home fans and now back in Northern Ireland.
Harry Anderson spent a decade on the Portadown books before securing a switch to Portsmouth in 2019.
Now, aged 18 years old, he returns to the Shamrock Park club on a two-year contract.
Anderson’s development across the home youth ranks up to the under 20s culminated in one senior Ports appearance before a move into the Portsmouth Academy as a 16 year old.
His progress in England included the honour of League Football Education ‘Goal of the Month’ winner last January.
“Really excited about Harry,” said Ports boss Tipton on the official club website. “Obviously he was here prior to going to Portsmouth and was in and around the first team as soon as I came to the club and I was delighted he got his move to Portsmouth and kept in touch with him over the two years.
“Portsmouth aren’t having an under 23 team and he’s probably not ready for their first team just yet even though he scored bundles of goals over there in the last two years.
“It just didn’t work out and maybe he was thinking of trying to stay over there but I had a good conversation with him and his agent and explained what we’re doing here.
“He’s still only 18 and if he can come into our first team and hit the ground running the move back to England could happen.
“If any of our supporters have been following Harry’s progress they’ll see Harry’s been scoring lots and lots of goals.
“I’ve known Harry since the age of 10 and Harry’s always had that ability to score goals and you don’t lose that whatever age you get to.
“Over the two years we’ve looked at his stats and the data Portsmouth have shared with us shows his all-round game has improved - when to make runs, the timings of those runs and his hold-up play.
“He’s a good size and can run like the wind, when he went to Portsmouth initially he broke every record over there for 5, 10 and 20-metre sprints and with two years’ full-time training that’s only going to have improved him in terms of his running power and strength and it’s something I’m really looking forward to.
“Now he’s coming to play real football, it’s alright being a brilliant under 18s footballer and he has been previously a brilliant under 20s player with us but now we want him to transfer that to the real games and I look forward to him coming in.”
Anderson told the official club website: “Matthew always kept in contact with me whenever I was over in England and he spoke to me and my agent and I’m happy to be back.
“The standard of the Irish League is getting higher and higher every year and I see it as a challenge to perform at the top level of Irish League football.
“Matthew was a good striker and I’m hoping he can develop my game even more.”
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