Ace Oman signs on to stay with the Ports

Ken Oman. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Ken Oman. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Pat McGibbon will kick off his first pre-season as Portadown manager next week with a squad of faces both familiar and fresh following a turbulent summer.

McGibbon was appointed permanent Ports boss before the final game of last season’s successful battle against relegation and has spent the close-season spell reshaping the squad.

Ross Redman’s recent departure to Glentoran marked the latest experienced player to depart from Shamrock Park and McGibbon’s attempts at rebuilding have been hampered by a transfer sanction from the Irish Football Association which restricts bringing players to the club on professional terms.

However, the former Northern Ireland international has enjoyed success on a number of fronts and confirmed Ken Oman will return to the Ports after reaching an agreement on his fresh contract.

Keith O’Hara, Matthew Parker, Mark Carson, Pauddy Judge and Jake Richardson have also resigned for the club.

McGibbon’s bid to strengthen the panel has included deals for Brendan Shannon and Adam Rodgers - with Aaron Haire, Ben Murdoch and Ciaran Doherty other additions.

“Aaron was obviously at Portadown before as a young striker but he comes back now having gained experience around the Irish League,” said McGibbon. “Ben was recommended to me by Gerard McMahon at Dromara Village, having previously been on Glentoran’s books and had trials in England.

“Ciaran Doherty was with Glenavon and Cliftonville in the past and the signings all have that hunger we want.

“I am delighted to get Ken wrapped up on a deal as he was a real leader during the closing stages of the season after I came in as manager.

“I place a lot of trust in Keith and know how much he has been doing before we even start pre-season.

“Matthew was impressive towards the end of last season and has a great attitude.

“We want to build a team spirit as quickly as possible and hit the ground running over pre-season.

“It is about getting the group together and putting across our ideas for the future.”