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Harry Anderson adds to list of Portadown prospects on the rise in season of lows

Harry Anderson last Saturday became the latest product of Portadown’s youth system to make his mark this season at first-team level.

Despite the influx of outside signings over the past two Irish League transfer windows, many of the club’s highlights in a season dominated by lows have been provided thanks to internal assets.

Alongside the rise of Reece Jordan and Harry Murphy, plus Oisin Conaty’s equaliser against Glentoran for a first point under Paul Doolin’s management, fans can add Anderson’s name.

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Anderson’s goal at Shamrock Park on his first league start since a return home last summer helped to secure a first win for Doolin since his arrival last month - and third win of the club’s campaign, completing the maximum haul from meetings to date with Warrenpoint.

Portadown striker Harry Anderson (left) is hoping to build on recent first-team minutes for his hometown team. Pic by Pacemaker.

The 19-year-old striker is back in Ports red having left the youth section for Portsmouth blue in 2019.

After a wait until the 29th game of the Premiership campaign for a starting spot, Anderson is hoping to build on that magic moment with a big finish in the battle to beat the drop after a slow start this season.

“It was a big goal in the context of the season that now puts us five points clear of Warrenpoint,” said Anderson. “All of us were up for it right before the game and Michael Ruddy (captain) gave a good talk.

“I had a lot of time (for the goal) so I just thought ‘hit the target’ and, thankfully, it went in.

“That result will give us all confidence and, for a striker, a goal gives me confidence that I can play in this league.

“I played with Oisin (Conaty) and ‘Murph’ (Harry Murphy) when I was younger at 10, 11 or 12 years old and we would now travel to games together, so are all very close...it’s brilliant to be on the pitch with them.

“When I was younger I used to come to Shamrock Park and watch the firsts so to be out there now and play in front of the fans is great.

“It’s been difficult this season after coming back from England, with confidence a bit down not playing,” said Anderson. “In my second season at Portsmouth I was top goalscorter in our league with 26 and then Covid hit.

“Academy football is a lot different to men’s football, so it’s been difficult to adjust so just, hopefully, I can get a few games under my belt.

“‘Tippy’ (previous manager, Matthew Tipton) would always give me advice in shooting drills and training.

“When a new manager comes in and doesn’t know you as a player then all you’ve got is training to try and impress and get your place in the line-up.

“In January, I was set to go on loan to Knockbreda but then the new manager came in.

“I’ve been trying my best in training to try and get that chance to play.”

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