Mental strength has always been one of Ross Redman’s defining characteristics - and that positive attitude could prove his greatest asset in the fight to recover from cruciate ligament damage.
His early progress was hampered by accusations of family favouritism due to Ronnie McFall’s connection as his uncle. Redman also had the added burden of replacing a club legend in Keith O’Hara as first-choice left-back.
However, Redman has developed into one of the Irish League’s most consistent and respected players thanks to a desire to maximise every element of his natural talent and combine those gifts with raw hard work.
That ability to overcome the odds and emerge stronger than ever will now help shape the next stage of his career.
Scans this week confirmed a torn ACL on the right knee of the young defender, with specialists predicting up to nine months out of the game.
There is a considered argument that Redman, by virtue of his set-piece accuracy and energy along the left flank in attack and defence, has become second only to Kevin Braniff in terms of his value to the Ports. That theory will be put to the test over the remainder of the campaign but Redman remains determined to avoid Saturday’s injury becoming the defining moment of his season.
“I have already been joking with the lads in the changing room that I want to be back to score the winner in the Irish Cup final,” said Redman. “The support from everyone at the club has been fanstatic, plus others around sport at all levels.
“It was a shock when the speciliast told me the news this week as I have not really been in severe pain.
“I caught my studs in the pitch at Coleraine and knew something was pretty bad when I heard a pop.
“Now it is all about working back to fitness and the good thing is I can start my rehab immediately ahead of the operation.
“I need to concentrate on reducing the swelling to get the green light for surgery and it is also important to work the muscles as much as possible to limit the post-op wastage.
“I have beeb fortunate in my career with injuries so, hopefully, that will help me, along with the hard work put in during pre-season.
“The tough times will really come down the line and it is important to stay positive and motivated, but I have so many good people around me.
“Over the past seven years Portadown has been part of my life every Tuesday and Thursday, plus matchdays.
“I intend to keep on coming to games and supporting the team.”