There’s no place like home for Kevin Braniff and Ross Redman
Portadown pair Kevin Braniff and Ross Redman are back at Shamrock Park after their trial with Bucaspor brought nothing like Turkish delight.
Indeed, so fed up were Braniff and Redman with how things went in Turkey that they wanted to come home earlier than originally scheduled, but had to stay until their flight back to Belfast on Sunday.
The training stint with Bucaspor, who are newly promoted to the Turkish top flight, came up after the duo impressed during the Ports’ Europa League run.
Now though, with there being no chance of a transfer, their focus will be on the Shamrock Park men’s opening Premiership game of the season against Glenavon on Friday night.
“Things didn’t go as we’d expected and there were a lot of things that were wrong,” said Braniff.
“They’d been told I was a forward, but when it came to playing in a match I was played in midfield.
“They basically did what they wanted.
“I’d a feeling from day one that nothing would happen.
“And going over to Turkey didn’t really appeal to me, but they were persistent.
“They kept phoning and asking for us to go over, so in the end I thought I’d go out for the week and see how it went, but I wasn’t surprised.
“The players were all big time Charlies as well with their fancy watches and their designer clothes; very different to the Irish League.
“We were already trying to get our flights changed before they told us that they wouldn't be taking things any further.”
His experience in Turkey hasn’t put Braniff — who won two caps for Northern Ireland against Turkey and Chile back in May — off having a future crack at full-time football.
“I’m committed to Portadown for the next three seasons, but I am still ambitious and I’d still like to play at as high a level as possible,” he said.
“If something else was to come up I would still consider it.”