Training time crucial in reserves’ continued development

Gary McCullough.
Gary McCullough.

Gary McCullough has highlighted the harsh lessons provided by the step up from youth football to the reserves.

The Ports suffered a 5-1 defeat against Ballinamallard United on Saturday as individual errors proved decisive in the final deficit.

The weekend reverse arrived off a midweek 5-3 loss to Cliftonville that included Pauddy Judge on the scoresheet.

“It was a tough final scoreline but it proves the gap between youth football and jumping into the Irish League reserves,” said McCullough, manager of Portadown reserves. “Our focus will always be on youth development but part of that is adjusting to the harsh reality that mistakes will get punished.

“We had so many positives and probably produced some of our best football this season against Ballinamallard.

“We probably did not deserve anything from the game but also did not deserve that final 5-1 gap.

“However, we suffered because of a few lapses and, although we factor that in when promoting young players, it is also up to the individual to learn a lesson for the next time.

“We face Linfield next Wednesday at Shamrock Park so will use the time between games to work with the squad and focus on certain aspects.

“Training time is crucial as it allows us the opportunity to look in greater detail at certain areas and really try to help the individual as well as the overall group.”

Tiago grabbed the Portadown consolation to extend his impressive return in front of goal across the league.

PORTADOWN RESERVES: David Ringland, John Gibson, Mark Whittem, Caolan Skelton, Owen McConville, Ruairi McCay, Pauddy Judge, Bruno Montero, Matthew Parker. Tiago Ferreira, Adam Brown. Subs: Joel Copes, Daniel Robb, Allain Cante.