Ross Redman braced for emotional return to old club Portadown
Ross Redman is expecting a hostile reception when he makes an emotional return to Portadown on Saturday but the affection he has for his hometown club will always run deep.
Redman rejected a one-year deal earlier this year, bringing the curtain down on 12 special years with the Ports.
The 26-year-old left-back agreed to join Glentoran in June and while he felt the time was right to embrace a new challenge, Portadown will always be in his heart.
Shamrock Park is where Redman the boy became Redman the man and he takes no pleasure in the turmoil that has engulfed the mid-Ulster side.
In April, Portadown were hit with a £5,000 fine and a transfer ban on signing players on professional terms until June next year having been deemed to have made undisclosed payments to striker Gary Twigg.
They were also handed a 12-point deduction for the new season, which was supposed to start with a trip to Coleraine but that match failed to go ahead as the Ports were suspended from all football activity for failing to pay disciplinary fees on time.
The club's appeal against the points deduction will be heard this week but manager Pat McGibbon and his players have worked hard to keep the ship afloat and Redman, nephew of legendary boss Ronnie McFall who quit last season, wishes his old employers well.
He is, however, chasing three points for Glentoran on Saturday.
"It will be a very tough game and probably a hostile reception for all of us," said Redman.
"As a Portadown fan I used to go to the games before I played for the club. I will enjoy going back and there are a lot of good people around the club.
"I always look out for the result and the club has been through a tough time. I had many good times and hopefully they can come through this difficult period and emerge stronger.
"If you look at their first 11 they still have real quality players, the likes of Keith O'Hara, Sean Mackle and Mark McAllister. They still have a very strong spine and they will be fighting for everything.
"Their target will be to get their points total to zero and keep building. It's early in the season but Portadown will be like Carrick Rangers and fight for every point, especially after their points deduction. They lost to Ards and will be determined to hit back."
Redman and his new team-mates were disappointed to trudge off the Oval pitch last Saturday after a surprise 1-0 loss to Carrick.
Three points from their three opening games is a poor return for the Glens who want to compete with the Premiership's best and the players will need to find their shooting boots.
"It's been good for me," added Redman. "Up until this week we have been doing well. We adjusted our shape and the boys have been getting used to it.
"The boys are working hard but Carrick, although not having much of the ball, hit us on the break and then we found them hard to break down.
"They are very big at the back and a physical side. We had a few chances but couldn't put them away.
"You must put the ball in the net and we didn't do that."