McGibbon set to spread the net in search of transfer targets

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

Pat McGibbon celebrated victory in his first official match as Portadown manager by turning post-game focus to rebuilding the squad.

The former Northern Ireland international was confirmed as permanent manager last week on a two-year deal following eight games as caretaker boss.

His ninth fixture in the Portadown dug-out resulted in a 2-0 success on Saturday over Ballymena United that secured the team’s top-flight Irish League status.

McGibbon’s efforts at revamping the panel will suffer from a transfer sanction imposed by the Irish Football Association which prevents the club signing new players on professional contracts until June 2017.

“I don’t know how difficult it’s going to be (to attract players) until I start making the phone calls,” said McGibbon. “My biggest concern is the group we had, that we got a result and then the group of players that we’re going to assemble, that they are as hard-working for the club as we can get.

“The players have shown enough in the last few games to show they have a commitment to the club, they’re pushing and they have a load of enthusiasm.

“But they need to continue to show that consistently in order to be in the side.

“We now need to move on and get a new group of players and make sure there’s a lot of cohesion in the squad.

“We have to scour high and wide wherever we can to get the best players possible to start the season off well.

“Vinny (Arkins) has loads of contacts down south and I worked down south myself with Monaghan United and we will go wherever we need to go to get players.”