One of Portadown’s newest recruits spoke with in the build up to the 2021/22 Danske Bank Premiership kick off this coming Friday (27th August) and it is clear how much the first fixture means but that anticipation is only heightened again with it being against the Ports’ local derby rivals Glenavon.

The first league game of the season is always one that is waited on eagerly by both players and fans but the NIFL Fixture Machine threw up a mouth watering one for the two Mid Ulster rivals, although there is a flavour of familiarity as the reverse of this fixture was the opening game for each side in the 2020/21 season. Then, newly promoted Portadown travelled to Mourneview Park and pulled off a shock 4-2 victory through goals by Stephen Murray x2, Lee Bonis and Aaron Burns.

The Ports will be hoping for a similar result this time around only this time in front of their fans at Shamrock Park and defender Oran Jackson gave us an insight into how the pre-season preparations have been going, “Things have been good so far, with such a welcoming team and staff along with kind words from fans on social media. So it’s those things that have made the move that much easier for me. So I’m grateful for that“.

Although the ex MK Dons man has struggled a touch to over come a niggling injury which has limited his game time during pre-season friendlies, “For me personally preseason hasn’t gone as I have hoped, struggling with a slight groin injury I’ve not been able to be involved so much in the games. But the minutes I have been able to play in I feel as if I’ve played well.”

But there is no doubt the physically imposing defender is looking forward to the challenge of taking on Glenavon and has been filled in on the importance of the Mid-Ulster derby, “I’ve heard good things about this first game of the season and how much of a big derby it is between the two clubs and how much it means the fans. As a player you want to win these games that extra bit more because of the occasion. Hopefully we can get as many fans in the stadium on the day.

A fantastic atmosphere is surely awaiting Jackson and the rest of the Portadown players at Shamrock Park as fans are welcomed back in bigger numbers, with a 1,400 limit. Remember, Early Bird members have their chance to purchase match tickets until Tuesday 24th August at 8pm when any remaining tickets will go on general sale.

It is not too late to register for Early Bird Membership, simply click here and complete the registration for your chance to guarantee yourself a ticket for each Portadown FC League match at Shamrock Park in the 2021/22 Season.