South Africa’s Jethren Barr with firm drive to repay faith from Portadown family
Portadown had goalkeeper Jethren Barr to thank for Saturday’s point against league leaders Cliftonville - but the South Africa-born goalkeeper feels he is the one with the debt of gratitude.
Barr signed with the Shamrock Park club at the start of the season and has enjoyed some impressive form between the posts, with acrobatic stops and assured overall play central to the weekend draw.
Barr played a major hand in helping the Ports seal any reward - but he was quick to pass on the praise.
Ards edge closer to new home after land lease deal
Evolving Coleraine show their quality in statement win
Six of the best from the Danske Bank Premiership
Lisburn crowned Premier League champions
‘Remember the sabbath day...’: Northern Ireland’s biggest Protestant church voices worries over Sunday football as Linfield gets ready to clash with Portadown
“I have to credit God first...I’m happy to be in Northern Ireland,” said Barr, who lives in Ballyclare with his sister. “The whole team did really, really well, credit to Greg Hall and Paul Finnegan, I thought they were absolutely fantastic.
“We were unlucky not to hold on to the three points but it has been the story of our season.
“I think we are the team that has dropped the most points from a winning position.
“We’ve had a string of injuries in the team and we’re throwing 16,17,18 year olds in.
“It’s always going to be a fight no matter who we play - week in, week out we are grinding for points.
“But we have to keep going and I think that next win will come.
“We are delighted with a point, playing against Cliftonville, Linfield, Larne...we’ve held them all here (at Shamrock Park).
“But those are all games we could have ended up actually winning so I think we have just been unfortunate.
“I think we need more composure...there are a lot of young players in the team and they don’t have that experience of hanging on to the lead.
“But I feel like we are gaining momentum and experience every week.
“It’s the first time I’m playing in the mud like this, I’ve never felt this cold before...but I’ve had lots of action to keep warm!
“I’ve been awarded the ‘Man-of-the-Match’ so am absolutely delighted, I can say to my family now my hard work is starting to pay off.
“So I’m really happy with that...but I cannot take all the credit today, the whole team really defended well together.
“I was really blown away by the welcome when I arrived here, it’s not often a foreigner coming to a team would get such a welcome.
“I didn’t take it for granted and just want to repay everyone’s faith in bringing me here with performances like that today.
“If I can just keep doing that week in, week out I think I can repay the confidence.
“I know there’s lot of big shoes to fill so I just hope I can continue that legacy of Portadown producing top-class goalkeepers.”
Portadown: Barr, Hall, Ruddy, Finnegan, McKeown, Salley, Bonis, Conaty (Warde, 91), S.Teggart (Tipton, 83), McLeod, Jordan.
Subs (not used): Doherty, Anderson, Glenfield, E.Teggart.
Cliftonville: McNicholas, McDermott, Ives, C.Curran, R.Curran, O’Neill, Lowe, Addis, Turner, Gallagher (McDonagh, 50), Kearns (Gormley, 32).
Subs (not used): Dunne, Harney, Donnelly, Doherty, Coates.
referee: Steven Gregg
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world.
But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.
You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk
With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.