The 21-year-old striker views scoring goals as ‘all I live for really’ and that hunger to find the net could provide a crucial cutting edge as the Ports push for vital points to climb out of the drop zone over the final third of the season.
Dugan’s first taste of Irish League life was as a spectator during defeat last Saturday by Dungannon Swifts - having arrived in Northern Ireland on the Thursday night for a trial appearance that produced an instant impression and reward of a short-term contract.
It has proven a whirlwind introduction to the Premiership landscape.
Defeat in the Swifts game served to cement the Ports’ position in the bottom two of the table and, ultimately, marked the final fixture in charge of the club by manager Matthew Tipton.
The weekend departure of Tipton, the man who brought Dugan to the club, just days after submitting the player’s paperwork offered a testing initial impression for the forward.
The waiting game over Dugan’s international clearance prevented a debut in front of the home supporters - and newly-installed Ports boss Paul Doolin - in Tuesday’s loss to Crusaders at Shamrock Park.
Now Dugan’s focus this week has been on preparing for a Saturday trip to Larne and potential first appearance for the club.
Dugan’s move to the Irish League arrived off a phone call by the 21-year-old to Tipton after initial contact over social media, the latter platform key to securing the forward previous deals in Sweden and Cyprus.
“I’m just trying to get experience under my belt and broaden my horizons in football,” said Dugan. “I was at Swindon Town and did my two-year scholarship there plus when younger at some Premier League clubs briefly like Southampton and West Brom.
“I came out of my scholarship and moved abroad, grabbing an opportunity in Sweden with both hands and never looked back.
“I was then in the fourth division in Cyprus and managed to get 30 games and scored 26 goals and a move to a third division club, finishing up with 10 games, seven goals and two assists.
“It felt in January it was the right time to get back over.
“I was letting my agent handle things then I thought I would just contact Matthew as I had nothing to lose.
“The next thing I was on a flight over and am grateful for the opportunity.
“I really enjoyed the training session on Thursday.
“I’m signed until the end of the season then see how I get on.
“I just hope I can get the goals to keep the club up and the fans happy.
“I’m a bit of a mix (of styles) as I can come into feet and hold up the ball but like to run in behind.
“To be honest, it’s all about goals and putting the ball in the back of the net.
“That’s all I live for really.
“I’ve done some research on the club and watched back some of the games so can definitely see myself fitting in here.
“I’m just trying to help and hopefully impact on the team.
“This is my first move back to the UK in three years or so and I just want to hit the ground running.”
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