This weekend’s Chambers Park fixture list could result in rewards for the collective effort to put into practice one key ambition of head coach Richard Hedley.
Hedley’s time at Portadown across the past few seasons has often centred on a drive to establish a deep playing structure beyond the senior set-up to ensure a collective pool of players in prime position to line out for the firsts.
Coaching adjustments over time have helped Portadown move towards the strength-in-depth Hedley is keen to put in place.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Chambers Park will field players across the firsts and seconds in tough league tests. A positive outcome across the board would cement the progress made towards increased selection options.
The firsts entertain on-song Omagh in Qualifying League One, with the seconds meeting Ballymoney during a clash between two of the division’s leading sides.
“We are building for the future and it is great to see young players from the area getting minutes in Portadown colours,” said Hedley. “It is very encouraging to see the numbers at training and the fact that the seconds have started the season so well really gives everyone a boost.
“It is about having options and a large group of players working to the same idea.
“We have two tough games but wins for both would be excellent.
“We have been missing quite a few players at senior level this season but the opportunity to hand others a chance helps soften the blow.
“It is a testament to the hard work by everyone that we can now cope so much better with players missing.
“The system is in a much better position now and that depth allows for greater continuity, with everyone working together.
“The senior players get a lift from watching young guys bring that extra enthusiasm to everything.
“It is good for the club overall.”
Play will start tomorrow (Saturday) at 2.30 across both games.