McGibbon sets summer goals

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

Portadown manager Pat McGibbon remains confident he can rebuild the Shamrock Park squad - despite transfer sanctions imposed by the Irish Football Association.

Under the terms of the IFA disciplinary hearing, Portadown cannot bring players to the club on professional contracts until June 2017.

McGibbon is keen to kick off the summer work and has already held talks with current players and potential signings.

“I will be discussing our situation with the Board of Directors then moving forward to firm everything up with the squad on the books,” said the former Northern Ireland international. “We held productive talks last weekend at Shamrock Park and it is an ongoing process at this point.

“Although some (Ross Redman and Chris Casement) may have mentioned a desire to move on, I consider talks open at this stage with every player.

“Nothing concrete has been decided with a single player but I am aware of how most feel moving forward.

“Once I get clarity from the directors I can firm up our current players and move towards bringing signings into the club.”

McGibbon has held preliminary discussions with a number of targets and remains encouraged by the feedback.

“Portadown remains a big name in the Irish League despite the recent transfer sanctions,” said McGibbon. “I do not get the sense that players are scared of coming here or consider it a bad move.

“They see the potential at the club so the goal is to build on the core group of players and exciting youth prospects to push on together this summer.

“We want competition for places, with a group of hungry players ready to work with the coaching team to improve.

“Everything will take shape over the next few weeks and into the pre-season proper as we start to change the squad then gel together the existing players, young talent and signings.”