Breen off Ports’ transfer list

Garry Breen celebrates scoring last season against Carrick Rangers. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Garry Breen celebrates scoring last season against Carrick Rangers. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Garry Breen reported to pre-season training this week with a renewed commitment to Portadown following the successful conclusion of negotiations between the player and club.

The centre-back requested to be placed on the transfer list at the end of an Irish League season in which Portadown managed to avoid relegation out of the Danske Bank Premiership on the final day.

However, discussions between the player, club directors and manager Pat McGibbon helped resolve a number of issues to the satisfaction of all parties.

McGibbon, a former Northern Ireland international defender, has gone on record expressing his admiration for Breen and desire to have the experienced player as a key part of his future backline.

Breen scored a vital goal at Carrick Rangers in the club’s relegation escape last season during a spell of improved performances following the arrival of McGibbon as caretaker manager then confirmation as a permanent appointment.

It is understood that Breen’s contract with the club will cover next season and director Ronnie Stinson is confident he can compete across the rest of pre-season and the forthcoming domestic campaign with additional fresh faces.

“We are pleased to confirm that Garry is no longer on the transfer list, following talks between the club and player,” said Stinson. “Pat has added a number of signings to the squad and is working hard on securing additional players.

“Chris Casement remains on the transfer list and we have rejected one bid from Linfield.

“Chris and Gary Twigg, who is free to talk to other clubs, are both currently on holidays, with Garry just back.

“The players will kick-off the friendly programme with a weekend in Dublin and game on July 16 against Swords Celtic.

“We are also delighted to have Haffey Sports Ground on board to work alongside Walter McElroy in maintaining the Shamrock Park pitch.”

Portadown’s appeal with the Irish Football Association against a 12-point deduction - imposed in relation to the contract status of Peter McMahon - is expected to take place tonight (Thursday).