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EXCLUSIVE: McGibbon says he is ready to take over from McFall at Portadown

Pat McGibbon
Pat McGibbon

Pat McGibbon has told the Sunday World he is keen to take over from Ronnie McFall when the time comes for the Portadown manager to step down.

It has been a busy week during which one door opened as another closed for the former Manchester United and Northern Ireland player, who is delighted to be back in local football.

McGibbon began his football career at Shamrock Park before Sir Alex Ferguson swooped to pay £100,000 for his services back in 1992.

And this week he returned to the Mid Ulster club as club physiotherapist after withdrawing his candidacy for the vacant managerial role at Glentoran.

But he is keen to return to management after stints at Newry City and Monaghan Town and would jump at the chance to take the hotseat at Shamrock Park.

“Of course I’d be interested in the job at Portadown if it were to become available”, said the 42-year-old. “I just want to get involved in the game again, and I’m delighted to be back at my old club.

“I started here, I know Ronnie well and I have ties at the club, and there are good people at Shamrock Park.

“My return came about quite quickly, and I think it is well known that I had registered my interest in the job at Glentoran.

“But I was at Shamrock Park last Saturday for a Q&A session with club sponsors, board members and some supporters about my time in football.

“It came up that there was a vacancy, I had a conversation with Ronnie and I said I’d think about it over Monday and Tuesday.

“I had sent my CV in to The Oval but after an initial acknowledgement from the club secretary, I heard nothing for two weeks to last Monday, when I heard a letter had been sent out to me.

“I hadn’t received it so I contacted the club on Monday and got an email from the Chairman that afternoon to say the first email must not have been received, and could I go to the club for an interview the following evening.

“I initially responded ‘yes’, but when I reflected on it, I really thought I would have heard earlier from the club.

“I slept on it and on the Tuesday I felt it didn’t fit, and that I wouldn’t have had a fighting chance at the job.

“I contacted Roy Coyle to let him know I was withdrawing my name and contacted the Chairman to confirm my withdrawal.

“It’s a pity because I would have no problem working with a football man like Roy, or Ronnie, or David Jeffrey, people like that, no problem whatsoever.

“So then I contacted Ronnie and told him I would be delighted to take up the physio role at the club and I am willing to help out in any way I can.

“If I am asked to offer my opinions on team affairs I will do so gladly, and we will see what develops.

“I am a qualified physio and I have my Pro License, I am delighted to be back involved in football and I look forward to the challenges ahead.

“It is most important for me to stay in the Irish League, and if an opportunity arises, I’d be keen to look at it.”