Matthew Tipton: Portadown are going to go places and I want to be a part of it
New Portadown manager Matthew Tipton says he's optimistic the future of the club will be a bright one.
The 37 year-old former Ports striker left Warrenpoint on Wednesday morning and was unveiled as the new manager at Shamrock Park at a 5.30pm press conference.
Portadown are currently fifth in the Championship table, seven points off a play-off place. And while Tipton and the directors say there is no pressure or expectation to secure promotion this term, the new man at the helm say the club's potential was a key factor in accepting the job.
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"This was an opportunity that I felt was the right one for me at the right time," he said. "Having spoken to the guys, I feel like this club is going to go places and go quickly. I want to be a part of that from the start, not jump on halfway through.
"The club's not where it wants to be. We know that. There will be no promises given, no targets made. I've been in football too long for that. It will be made clear that high standards are expected. That's all I can promise.
"We've a project here now - we're not going to get back to where we want to be overnight.
"There are good things going on off the pitch with the fans and the youth set-up - it's one of the most successful in the country and it's a amassive attraction to me.
"If we bring our own kids through to the first team, nothing would please me more than that."
Tipton played for the club between January 2011 and summer 2012, scoring 24 Premiership goals in the 11/12 season before moving to Linfield.
"Did I always see myself coming back? I always had ambition," he said. "I put an application in two years ago but realised I wasn't experienced enough to go to a club of this size. I've learnt a lot about myself and about football and Warrenpoint and now I'm delighted to be here."
Tipton paid tribute to the club's supporters, with whom he was a favourite during his playing days, earning a status that didn't seem to disappear despite his move to Windsor Park.
"The fans are the foundation of a club," he said. "They've backed this club through thick and thin. Now we have to give something back. We have to give them a reason to turn up here and encourage us. You can't expect to roll up and be given that as a team. If fans see you doing the right things, you will get their backing. I want the players to give them a reason to turn up."
Also returning to the club are former goalkeeper David Miskelly as Tipton's assistant and ex Portadown U18 coach Chris Wright. They will be working with existing coach Trevor Williamson, who is staying in his current role.
The affiliation the trio have with the job, Tipton agreed, makes this his perfect second job, after cutting his managerial teeth by guiding Warrenpoint to the Championship title last season.
"Without doubt," he said. "David played here for 12 years and is a legend at this club. We go back a long way and he was always going to be my assistant. I trust him implicitly and his knowledge of football is second to none. He's good for me. He'll slap me down when I need it, which is quite regularly.
"Chris is a Portadown man through and through. I did a few coaching sessions with him and I was impressed with him. When I was approached at Warrenpoint, I asked him to come. I'm really impressed with his work. He's passionate and as a Portadown fan, that's good but it isn't the be all and end all. It's different when you're working in it. Chris knows how to win games and how to separate being a fan and a coach."
Read more from Tipton tomorrow.
Belfast Telegraph Digital