Portadown manager Ronnie McFall spent his summer fighting off Irish League interest in Darren Murray - but is determined to help the striker achieve his career goals.
Murray last week opted to withdraw his transfer request following weeks of Portadown refusing to enter into negotiations with Cliftonville or Linfield.
The forward has recently spent time on trial in Scotland with Greenock Morton and Inverness Caledonian Thistle thanks to McFall’s contacts across the water.
“We will never stand in the way of anyone trying to move into full-time football but would never consider selling an outstanding talent like Darren to another Irish League club,” said McFall. “We are delighted he is staying as he will only improve.”
Portadown visit Ballinamallard United tomorrow (Saturday) following a 1-0 defeat last weekend by Cliftonville.
“We must now focus on Ballinamallard,” said the Ports boss. “It is a great playing surface but we can expect a tough test.
“Michael Gault is back from suspension but Peter McMahon and Shea Conaty are both out, with David Miskelly and Ross Redman recovering from injury.”
Northern Ireland under 21s’ international selection of two Glenavon players is expected to result in the postponement of Portadown’s Mid-Ulster derby date at Shamrock Park on September 5.