Matthew Tipton’s remit as Portadown manager will extend beyond the first-team squad towards a greater focus on youth development as the Board of Directors target long-term progress.
A meeting on Wednesday confirmed the return of the former striker to Shamrock Park in the role of boss as a rapid replacement for Niall Currie, the latter’s tenure over last weekend after 14 months in charge.
Promotion out of the Bluefin Sport Championship remains a priority but Ports chairman Ronnie Stinson and his directors consider Tipton’s credentials as key to helping establish stability and, as a result, sustainable success.
Tipton can boast a background in youth coaching alongside the honour of last season’s Championship crown to cap his first season in senior management.
“Matthew has done well working with youth players and that is a significant area which we want to continue to develop at Portadown,” said Stinson. “We feel we have some really exciting young players coming up the ranks and Matthew and his backroom team can really help bring along that potential.
“However, we aim to have a mix of youth and experience in place to allow the club to progress and return to the Danske Bank Premiership in a position able to sustain something on a long-term basis.
“We want to grow year-on-year and, with that in mind, it is not about putting pressure on for targets, other than continued development.
“Matthew’s contract will run to the end of this current campaign and then for two additional years.
“We have discussed the financial situation and there is not going to be any significant change to the wage budget for next season, plus Matthew has been made aware of our overall plans for the club in terms of rebuilding and future projects.
“Of course, the past links David Miskelly and Chris Wright have with the club as Matthew’s coaching team are also important to our ideas, along with Trevor Williamson’s long-standing connection.”
Williamson - with help from senior players Niall Henderson and Kyle Neill - took charge of Monday’s training night.
Tipton stepped in for his first session with the squad on Wednesday
“Our original aim was to speak to Matthew now about taking over in the summer,” said Stinson. “Over the past few days we have had 10 or so different people declare interest in the Portadown job.
“We were aware of speculation linking Matthew to the Glentoran job so made a formal approach to Warrenpoint Town on Monday, although we did not believe he was under contract, requesting permission to speak to Matthew and we were happy to wait, out of respect, until after Tuesday’s fixture then met on Wednesday.
“However, Warrenpoint’s statement on Wednesday confirming a parting of the ways by mutual agreement opened the door to bring Matthew in this week.”