Experienced Defender Howard Beverland was a key target for Ports Manager Matthew Tipton as the 2022 January Transfer Window opened and portadownfc.co.uk caught up with the ex Coleraine & Crusaders defender to get his thoughts on the move and how he sees the rest of this season going at Shamrock Park.
First of all welcome to Shamrock Park. How did the move come about and are you excited to get started?
It’s all happened very quickly and smoothly thankfully. Thanks must go to Ballyclare and Matthew for how it has all been handled. Really looking forward to getting started.
I’ve been very fortunate to have played for two really great clubs in the Irish league football in Coleraine and Crusaders and Portadown certainly falls within that category too! There’s a big and passionate fan base attached which is always a big draw for any player!
You have won it all in Irish League football but have also experienced a scrap at the bottom end of the table, what do you think is important when your facing a scrap towards the lower end of the table?
I think similar principles apply whether you are challenging for trophies or in a scrap for survival at the opposite end of the table. Togetherness as a team and as a club. We face the best chance of surviving if we do it together – including players, staff, club and fans. Preparing for every game as best as possible. Hard work, graft, digging in and grinding out results. Positive mindset. Nothing has been decided yet, plenty of games to go and a lot is in our control still.
You spent a lot of time with Coleraine since coming into the league at a young age and you could be in for your Ports league debut as we welcome Coleraine to Shamrock Park on 15th Jan, do you enjoy going up against an old side or is it just another game and another chance to earn points?
I think playing against your old team is a different experience. You are up against players who were once teammates and a club who you once represented. I think however once you cross the white line your focus is fully on winning and securing maximin points for your team and sometimes against your old club there is an extra incentive to play will and win.
Irish Cup this weekend, it’s a competition you won with Crusaders in 2018, is it a competition that means much to you?
I think every player would agree that the Irish cup is very special and on Irish cup weekend there is a different buzz in the air. It’s a competition that has a huge tradition and is a great occasion if you are fortunate enough to reach the final. Thankfully I’ve reached the final twice, once with Coleraine and once with Crusaders. Hopefully I can add to that tradition with Portadown.
I’m sure Ports fans have seen plenty of games where you lined up across from us but for any that don’t know, what can they expect from you as a player here at Shamrock Park?
I hope to hit the ground running as it is important we pick up as many points between now and the end of the season as possible. Hopefully I can bring my own strengths as a player and a person to the club both on and off the pitch. I aim to be a good influence, work hard, commitment to the task and lead by example.