Josh Doherty to offer Portadown ‘tremendous pedigree’ as fifth January signing

Portadown boss Matthew Tipton views the ‘tremendous pedigree’ provided by Josh Doherty as a major boost to club progress.

The Ports enjoyed Irish Cup success over Limavady United on Saturday but a climb out of the Premiership relegation zone remains the priority.

Doherty’s arrival marks the fifth January deal confirmed by the Shamrock Park side as Tipton attempts to rejuvenate his squad for a strong second half to the season.

Doherty spent around a decade in England covering spells at Watford, Leyton Orient, Altrincham, Crawley Town, Colchester United and Barnet.

Josh Doherty - pictured (left) on show for Ards in 2017 - has signed for Portadown. Pic by PressEye Ltd

The midfielder is familiar to Irish League fans from time on the books at hometown club Ards and can draw on international experience across Northern Ireland under 17s, under 19s and under 21s.

“We are delighted to announce that we have signed Josh Doherty,” said Ports boss Tipton on the official club website. “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.

“And 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 and what it’s all about.”

Doherty joins Howard Beverland, Jamal Dupree, Jack Smith and Joe Gorman as recent signings.

Teenage striker Matthew Lusty has also arrived at the Ports on a loan deal until the end of the season as part of Larne’s package to sign Lee Bonis. Lusty is a product of Larne’s Academy Scholarship programme.

Portadown confirmed Bonis’ transfer with a message of thanks on the club website and best wishes for the future.

Two former Ports goalkeepers have also been on the move.

Declan Dunne has joined Dungannon Swifts on a three-and-half-year deal from Cliftonville.

The Northern Ireland under 21 international was on the books with the Reds from the age of 15 years old and spent a loan spell at Portadown across the 2018/19 campaign.

Ruadhan McKenna, who was at Shamrock Park as a teenager, previously played for Cliftonville from 2019 to 2021 before a period at Derry City.

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