McGibbon adds Ports legend Arkins to his team

Pat McGibbon and Vinny Arkins during a previous appearance by former Ports players at Shamrock Park.
Pat McGibbon and Vinny Arkins during a previous appearance by former Ports players at Shamrock Park.
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Pat McGibbon has made his first major move as Portadown interim boss by bringing club legend Vinny Arkins back to Shamrock Park.

McGibbon was handed the role of manager this week until the end of the season and will kick off life after Ronnie McFall on Saturday against Coleraine.

Joining the former Northern Ireland in the dug-out alongside Trevor Williamson will be Arkins, Portadown’s all-time leading goalscorer.

McGibbon and Arkins shared a dressing room at Portadown for two seasons from 2002 to 2004 and it is a move which will delight the fanbase.

“We had a chat this week and Vinny came up on Tuesday to training,” said McGibbon. “He has done so much for the club in the past as a player and I know all about his knowledge of the game from our playing time together.

“We do not have much time before Saturday’s first match and it is about doing everything possible to give the club a lift.

“Vinny brought that enthusiasm into the training set-up straight away and will, of course, prove especially helpful to our young strikers like Marcio Soares and Nathaniel Ferris.”

The Ports face Coleraine attempting to move forward following McFall’s resignation last weekend and with an upturn in results key to avoiding a relegation battle.

“It is a big change, even Tuesday’s training when you think it was the first without Ronnie McFall as manager in so long,” said McGibbon. “However, they showed real intensity and responded in the right way.”

Keith O’Hara, the club captain now given added responsibilty under McGibbon, will miss the weekend match due to a much-needed hip operation.