Bailie move attempt to ‘freshen up’ Ports panel

Portadown manager Niall Currie. Pic by Pacemaker.
Portadown manager Niall Currie. Pic by Pacemaker.

Portadown manager Niall Currie has confirmed the decision to bring John Bailie into the club coaching team as an effort to “freshen up” a squad struggling from three successive defeats.

Bailie held his first training sessions this week and will take a spot in the Shamrock Park dug-out for Saturday’s Bluefin Sport Championship home test against Ballyclare Comrades.

Currie and assistant manager Jay Willis previously worked with Bailie at former club Ards, with the trio securing Championship glory and a League Cup final appearance during a run of success the Ports boss is hoping to replicate.

“I wanted to bring John to Portadown when I first arrived but he has only recently become available,” said Currie. “We had good times as a team in the past and John will provide a different voice and help freshen up everything.

“We bounce well off each other and it is about the overall blend.”

The arrival of Bailie has forced Currie to cancel John Convery’s connection to the Ports.

“It was with a heavy heart I made the call and it is absolutely no reflection on John’s ability or what he offered,” said Currie. “He is a fantastic young coach with a great future in the game.

“But we had to create a space for John Bailie once that became an option.

“It is not about comparing one coach to another, it was a case of having to make a difficult decision that allowed us to bring together a team with a successful history.”

Kick-off will be 3 o’clock.