VIDEO: Kevin Braniff and Johnny Flynn sign for Portadown

Kevin Braniff and Johnny Flynn took time out of finalising a switch to Portadown to discuss future challenges with the Shamrock Park club under manager Matthew Tipton.

Kevin Braniff and Johnny Flynn celebrate signing for Portadown on two-year deals.
Kevin Braniff and Johnny Flynn celebrate signing for Portadown on two-year deals.

Both players arrived with the Bluefin Sport Championship outfit in the aftermath of Ballymena United's Europa League play-off exit on Wednesday.

Braniff is a familiar face for Ports fans, having spent around eight years on the books before a 2014 departure.

That first spell included time in second-tier football following Portadown's demotion due to administrative issues across the 2008/09 campaign.

Kevin Braniff and Johnny Flynn celebrate signing for Portadown on two-year deals.

It is a return to Ports club colours the experienced playmaker is relishing.

"I've had a lot of people talk to me over the years about coming back to Portadown and it's something I never ruled out, " said Braniff. "It's a place I've always enjoyed playing at and it just felt right to come back.

"I've been at the Championship level before with Portadown but it is exciting in terms of the players Matthew has signed.

"It's a challenge, with my aim to get the club back up to the Danske Bank Premiership.

"To do it in my first season back would be a great achievement.

"We have a lot of young players and across my career I've always tried to help younger players become better.

"If the manager wants me to help players out that way then I'm happy to do so at Portadown.

"I'm excited to play in a football side under Matthew and am looking forward to the season starting now.

"Today when down at the ground for the announcement I bumped into a few old faces and friends from my first time at the club so cannot wait to get going.

"With Darren Murray's ability to score goals and the other exciting talent here, Matthew has signed me to create chances as well as grab a few myself."

Tipton has also secured deals to bring back former Ports players Darren Murray and Sean Mackle.

Tipton views Flynn's capture as key to enhancing the defensive stability on which a promotion push can be built, alongside the leadership characteristics the 28-year-old centre-back will add overall.

"Once the manager first made contact he wanted me to come in as a leader and that has always been a natural part of my game," said Flynn. "If I can help the young lads along then that's perfect.

"Portadown is one of the biggest clubs in Irish League football and as soon as Matthew got in touch there was not much to think about for me.

"The club had a strong finish to last season with great crowds coming in and I view it as a Premiership club playing in the Championship.

"I am here to give it a good go and, hopefully, we can be successful.

"If you listen to every story around you will hear negative things about any club but I had no concerns about signing for Portadown despite the recent difficult times.

"It is an exciting squad along with the top-flight standard of signings.

"I know Kevin from my time with Ballymena and all about Darren Murray's quality, with Sean Mackle the best player on the pitch recently when we played against Warrenpoint Town.

"With that calibre of player on top of how things ended last season then the hope is our situation will only be a short-term one in the Championship."