Belfast Telegraph

Vinny sails out of Ports

By Stuart McKinley

Vinny Arkins' Irish League career came to an end last night when the striker signed a 12-month contract with eircom League club Bohemians.

Vinny Arkins' Irish League career came to an end last night when the striker signed a 12-month contract with eircom League club Bohemians.

The former Portadown striker has decided on a move closer to his Dublin home, after almost nine years at Shamrock Park.

Bohs won the race to Arkins' signature ahead of Newry City, Longford Town, Shelbourne and St Patrick's Athletic.

A move to Newry would have kept him in the Carnegie Premier League, but now after more than a decade Arkins will be back plying his trade south of the border.

"I had a few options, but I decided that Bohemians is the best move for me," said Arkins, who was officially released by the Ports last week.

"After nearly nine years of travelling up and down to Portadown I was starting to get fed up with it, Bohemians is on my doorstep in comparison and I liked what the manager Gareth Farrelly is planning.

"They finished mid-table last year, but Gareth only took over late in the season and had to work with the squad that was there.

"He's made a couple of signings already and is looking to bring more players in so that the team can make a challenge at the top of the table for at least a Setanta Cup place."

Arkins will join Bohs on a full-time basis after playing for Portadown on part-time status.

Even at 35-years-old he is relishing a return to training every day.

"I enjoy training and it will be good to be around the club every day," said Arkins.

"The manager is bringing the squad in next week for a day for the new players to get to know everyone.

"After that I am heading off for a few days with my family before our pre-season training starts in three weeks time.

"Training every day doesn't bother me, I was up training with Portadown twice a week and did some running on my own as well."

Arkins leaves Portadown after scoring 248 goals in 404 appearances, with 401 of those being from the start.

Ronnie McFall is continuing his search for a striker that will be as prolific as Arkins was during his time with the club, during which he won the Irish League Championship and an Irish Cup medal.

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