IRISH LEAGUE: Portadown hoping for new hope from New Year business

Jake Richardson. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Jake Richardson. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

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Portadown have increased the club’s January transfer business to a double-figure tally in pursuit of points to salvage senior status.

Niall Currie this week turned to three players with long-standing links to Portadown as additional signings for the current campaign and future tests.

Jordan Lyttle, Marcio Soares, Shea McGerrigan, Adam Foley, Tiarnan Mulvenna, Jaime Gardiner and Matthew Hazley have previously joined for the rest of this season’s Danske Bank Premiership relegation fight - with Philip Carson and Adam Salley on board as summer signings.

Now Currie has added Jake Richardson, Philip Craig and Bryan Pentland, three products of the club’s youth development programme now back at Shamrock Park.

Richardson has joined Portadown after spending time at Annagh United to gain competitive experience.

Craig was also recently on the books at Annagh but is currently recovering from injury.

Pentland enjoyed a string of silverware with Loughgall under Currie.

“We have been keeping an eye on Jake’s progress at Annagh and he will come back into the first-team squad for this weekend away to Cliftonville,” said Currie. “He has come on so well thanks to that added playing time in the Championship.

“We are short in the full-back areas, especially for Saturday’s match at Solitude, so there are going to be chances for Jake.

“Philip is working back to fitness from hip trouble so still stands a few weeks away, however, his versatility will prove a real bonus.

“He can play along the backline or midfield.

“Bryan was, for me, the best left-back outside the top flight when we worked together before at Loughgall.

“He has been out of the game for some time but will take the rest of the season to work on his fitness and probably, like Philip Carson, feature at some point with the under 20s.

“He has a real desire to get back in the game.

“Given the restrictions imposed by the Irish Football Association on Portadown signing players on professional terms it is about thinking a bit outside the box.”