Ports hire pitch experts

Specialists have been hired to improve the Shamrock Park pitch.
Specialists have been hired to improve the Shamrock Park pitch.
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Portadown officials have appointed specialists to improve the Shamrock Park playing surface.

A combination of factors last season left the football pitch in need of extra attention - with the Ports turning to Haffey Sports Grounds for expert assistance.

Cecil Haffey has spent time working on enhancing the overall surface, including the goalmouth areas and training pitch.

The Portadown company’s project roster includes work at professional clubs in England such as Liverpool and Chelsea.

It is understood that Haffey and his staff will offer assistance over the course of the season alongside the regular efforts of dedicated long-serving groundsman Walter McElroy.

It is a move endorsed by Ports boss Ronnie McFall.

The better the surface the better for the team

Ronnie McFall

“We have players that like to pass the ball around,” said McFall. “The better the surface the better for the team.”

McFall’s main focus is on improving the Shamrock Park squad following last season’s frustrating campaign that finished with fourth in the Danske Bank Premiership standings and Irish Cup final disappointment.

McFall is also working on the club’s pre-season programme. Entry into the Setanta Sports Cup was part of the initial plan before the decision to postpone this summer’s cross-border tournament.

“The bulk of the squad is under contract and we do not want to lose anyone,” said the Ports boss. “We have held discussions about the financial side of everything so know what we have to work with for improving the squad.

“We know the budget that is in place.

“Nothing has been sorted yet in terms of friendlies.”