Belfast Telegraph

Darren Murray happy to stay with Portadown

By Keith Bailie

Player of the Month Darren Murray has confessed that Belfast's Big Two were interested in acquiring his services, but he is happy with his decision to remain at Shamrock Park.

Murray explained: "I know Linfield and Ballymena United were interested at the end of last season, while at the start of that season I'd heard Glentoran were in for me.

"It's always good to know that the big clubs are interested in me, as it means I must be doing something right.

"But I'm happy enough here at Portadown, that's why I signed a two-year deal.

"I said to the chairman as long as there is a contract there I will sign it."

Portadown forward Murray is today named the BT Sport NIFWA Player of the Month after he scored eight goals in October.

The delighted striker believes that fellow forwards Kevin Braniff and Gary Twigg have helped him score so many goals.

"Two hat-tricks in one month is a rare thing, so it was something that I didn't expect," he added.

"I was delighted with my goals and I'm delighted to win this award.

"A lot of people were saying I wasn't good enough to play for a top half team and there were better players at Portadown who should be on ahead of me, but last year I scored 23 goals in all competitions, so it was good to prove people wrong.

"It's an extra bonus to have the players around you who have the quality to set up good chances.

"For me Kevin is still the best player in the league, while Gary is one of the best finishers in Ireland. It's a privilege to play in the same team as those two."

On Saturday, Portadown face Ballinamallard United at Ferney Park. The former Newry City and Donegal Celtic man believes September's 11-0 victory will serve only as motivation for the Mallards.

"Whitey Anderson won't need a team talk. He can just put 11-0 up on the board and his boys will go out fighting. But regardless of the 11-0, any time you go down to Ballinamallard you get a tough game. They're not a team who are just in the league to make up numbers, they're a team with real quality and we all saw that last year when they were superb."

* Derry City duo Ryan McBride and Raymond Foy have signed new two-year contracts with the League of Ireland club.

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