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Smith relishing reunion with Currie

By Keith Bailie

This weekend's Irish Cup sixth round clash between Loughgall and Portadown at Lakeview has brought back fond memories for both managers.

In 2007-08, now Portadown boss Niall Currie guided Loughgall to five trophies, claiming the First Division, Intermediate Cup, Intermediate League Cup, Mid-Ulster Cup and Bob Radcliffe Cup. Now Loughgall boss Dean Smith was the Villagers' top goalscorer that season.

Smith looks back on those days with pride. He said: "It was the best time of my career.

"I don't think we were the most talented team in the division, but we were the best team. We were like a wee family. It was a special time."

Smith doesn't believe his friendship with Currie will affect tomorrow's clash.

"Niall and I know each other so well, he could probably give my team talk and I could probably guess his," said Smith.

"But it's about the players. Portadown are the Premiership club so of course they are favourites, but we will give it everything.

"The great Loughgall team I played in never went far in the Irish Cup, and here we are with a chance to make the quarters.

"If you play in the Championship you don't get many chances to play in the latter stages, so I've told my boys they've got to make the most of their opportunity."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph