Portadown to open talks with Niall Currie

Niall Currie. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Niall Currie. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Portadown directors will meet Niall Currie tonight (Thursday) for formal talks over the manager’s position.

Shamrock Park officials have identified Currie as a permanent candidate to fill the vacancy following Pat McGibbon’s resignation in October.

A request to interview Currie was made to Ards yesterday (Wednesday) and it is understood Portadown have now been granted permission.

Currie was included on a Portadown shortlist of potential managers, with informal talks held this week with names including Paul Doolin, Roddy Collins, Colin Malone, Trevor Williamson and David Johnstone.

However, Portadown directors can now move forward with a formal interview and plan to meet Currie tonight.

“We made a request to Ards on Wednesday and have now been granted permission by Ards to move forward with an interview,” said a Portadown source. “We will meet Niall tonight to discuss the next step.”

Vinny Arkins. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Vinny Arkins. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

On a dramatic day for the Ports, Vinny Arkins informed club chairman Roy McMahon this afternoon of his decision to leave the club.

The former Ports captain and club’s all-time leading scorer returned to Shamrock Park this year as assistant to manager McGibbon then held the role of interim boss following the latter’s resignation on October 14.

Portadown directors have 60 days to make a permanent appointment but Arkins does not hold the UEFA ‘A’ Licence coaching qualification to take up the post on a long-term basis.

Informal talks have been held by club officials with various candidates over the past week but there was a desire within Shamrock Park to find a role on the backroom team for Arkins.

However, Arkins today (Thursday) informed McMahon of his plan to exit Portadown before training.

“I became aware there would be a diminished role for me moving forward so spoke to the chairman and told him it was best to make a clean break,” said Arkins. “I have left on good terms and wanted to do what is right for the players.

“It would not be the best preparation for the players to have me taking training on a Thursday but not involved moving forward.

“I have contacted the players and wish the club every success moving forward, as that is the most important thing.”