FOOTBALL: McFall hails McCafferty 'quality'

PORTADOWN'S impressive summer recruitment drive has continued with the high-profile signing of Neil McCafferty.

McCafferty signed a two-year deal with the Ports on Saturday after being released by Dungannon Swifts.

It is the latest statement of intent from Shamrock Park boss Ronnie McFall who has also brought back former defender Henry McStay to the club.

McStay - who played for the Ports from 2005-07 - put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal at the weekend with the option of another 12 months.

It is McCafferty's arrival that will signal Portadown's silverware ambitions, with the 25-year-old's stellar performances last season elevating him to one of the hottest properties in local football.

The former Charlton and Derry City playmaker scored 12 goals to help Dixie Robinson's Swifts finish fifth in the top flight, but was recently released by the Stangmore Park club as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

Portadown manager McFall believes he has attracted "quality" to the club after finalising terms with McCafferty.

"He is a quality operator," McFall said.

"We have lost six players this summer so we needed to replace them. And in Neil, Henry and Chris (Ramsey) we have started to do that.

"I believe we have signed a very good footballer in Neil because he has so much ability. He had a great season with Dungannon and earned a lot of rave reviews - and deservedly so. So I am delighted he is on board."

Defender McStay spent two years at Portadown before moving to Royal Antwerp and then Morecambe.

The 25-year-old - who has played at underage level for the Republic of Ireland - is also highly rated by McFall.

"I obviously know plenty about Henry so am delighted he has decided to return to the club. He was only ever going to come back to Portadown," the Shamrock boss said.

"He brings more quality to the table and he is a great lad as well. He can play centre back or in midfield so he gives us more options."

McFall - who also signed Ballymena United defender Chris Ramsey last week - admits he is "delighted" with the business conducted so far this summer.

"I believe we have brought in three players with immense quality. They are great additions to the squad," he added.

"They also reduce the average age of the panel which is important, because it means they have many years ahead of them. They can still learn and I can't wait to start working with them."

Portadown started back to pre-season training on Saturday ahead of their Europa League commitments which kick-off on July 1.

The draw for the competition will be made on June 21.