Cross-border trip to kick off Ports’ friendly fixtures

Pat McGibbon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Pat McGibbon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown manager Pat McGibbon will kick off the club’s run of summer friendly dates with a cross-border trip on July 16.

The overnight stay in the Republic of Ireland - against opposition to be confirmed - will present McGibbon’s players with a first taste of friendly football and an opportunity for team bonding.

McGibbon steps into the summer programme aiming to rejuvenate a senior panel disrupted by last season’s relegation battle and off-the-field issues which have led to Irish Football Association’s transfer sanctions on the addition of professionals.

The former Northern Ireland international is determined to build team spirit within the revamped squad by maximising pre-season.

Portadown will send teams to Loughgall and Dergview on July 19 before Newry City AFC visit Shamrock Park for the club’s Open Day on July 23. Games on July 26 have been planned against Silverwood United (away) and Harland and Wolff Welders (home) before David Miskelly’s testimonial at Comber on July 30.