McGibbon close to his first Ports signings

Pat McGibbon. Pic by Pacemaker.
Pat McGibbon. Pic by Pacemaker.

Pat McGibbon could prove just days away from capturing his first signings as Portadown manager.

The former Northern Ireland international is considered close to securing “three or four” players in the first significant stage of his summer rebuilding programme at Shamrock Park.

McGibbon’s frantic finale to the Danske Bank Premiership season left him steering the club to senior safety, initially in a caretaker capacity, before turning focus to a first transfer window as Ports boss.

A transfer sanction imposed by the Irish Football Association has prevented McGibbon from adding fresh faces to the club on professional contracts until 2017.

His demanding schedule following the final game of the Irish League campaign has centred on discussions with the Board of Directors, current players and potential targets.

Ross Redman, Chris Casement and Garry Breen have each lodged official transfer requests - with exits confirmed by Michael Gault, Chris Ramsey and Philip Lowry from last season’s squad.

However, McGibbon remains in discussions with Redman, Casement and Breen and is hopeful of positive news soon regarding strengthening the panel for future challenges.

“We may be in a position to wrap up deals for three or four players within the next week and possibly even the next few days,” said McGibbon. “We are looking at bringing in players hungry to achieve, some with Irish League experience and others from contacts in the Republic of Ireland.

“It has been a busy time trying to handle everything but we want to get our business done as soon as possible so players can hit the ground running in pre-season.

“Chris and Garry played regularly for me and did well, so they know I want both to stay.

“In terms of players coming out of contract, I’ve held talks with Ken Oman, Gary Twigg, Tim Mouncey and the younger lads.

“I wish both Michael Gault and Chris Ramsey all the best in the future as they were very professional in any dealings with me as manager.

“It is about dealing with all these issues in the right way and at the best time to allow the club to move forward.”