Portadown Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of 25 year old midfielder Josh Doherty.

Doherty, from Newtownards, started his youth career at hometown club Ards before signing a two-year scholarship with Watford in April 2012 were he made his first team debut in May 2014, coming on as a substitute in the 80th minute in the 4–1 defeat against Huddersfield Town. Later that month Josh would sign his first professional contract at the Hornets after completing his scholarship.

Doherty would depart Vicarage Road in 2016 to join Leyton Orient and after a loan spell at Altrincham he would return to his native Northern Ireland and his home town team Ards on a short term contract.

Josh would join League Two side Crawley Town in September 2017 before being released in the summer of 2021 following a loan spell at Colchester United. He signed for Barnet in July 2021 on a one year deal but had his contract terminated by mutual consent in November 2020.

The Newtownards native has also played for Northern Ireland at U17, U19 & U21 levels.

This is what Portadown manager Matthew Tipton had to say on Josh’s arrival at Shamrock Park

We are delighted to announce that we have signed Josh Doherty. Josh comes to us with a tremendous pedigree having played the majority of his career in the football league in England. Whilst Josh has been playing a lot of football at left back we see him primarily as a centre midfielder who we believe will add undoubted quality for us.

From the first time I spoke to Josh I have been struck by his professional attitude to everything he has had to say in terms of coming to us & I’m hopeful this will rub off on the rest of our squad. As well as his time in England Josh also played for Ards in the Premiership so he has the knowledge of the league & what it’s all about.

Also arriving at Shamrock Park on loan from Larne until the end of the season is 18 year old forward Matthew Lusty.

Lusty was the the first member of Larne’s Academy Scholarship programme to sign a professional contract at Inver Park after catching the eye of Larne’s first team coaching staff since he enrolled on the first year of their Scholarship programme in 2020.

So far this season Matthew has made 6 appearances for Tiernan Lynch’s men.