Portadown’s commitment to youth development has been recognised and rewarded with an official partnership between the town football club and Middlesbrough.
The English Football Association-approved arrangement was confirmed last week at a Shamrock Park launch night featuring representatives from the parent club, youth section, sponsors and Middlesbrough.
Alberto Balde’s recent transfer into the professional game with Middlesbrough from Portadown marked high-profile evidence of a growing relationship between the two clubs built on shared ideals.
Portadown FC Youth chairman Gary McCullough highlighted enhanced links as allowing “continued learning and development for our players, coaches and from an overall club perspective” and that thanks to the “guidance and professional experience that Middlesbrough can offer us and our players, we really can push the club and our players on to another level and help to keep us as one of Northern Ireland’s most progressive youth academies”.
Martin Carter, Middlesbrough's head of Academy recruitment, was a guest at Shamrock Park to celebrate the partnership - with Alan Curran delivering a presentation of behalf of Portadown FC Youth.