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Time is running out on Ben Tilney's Portadown offer, says boss Matthew Tipton


Matthew Tipton

Matthew Tipton


Matthew Tipton

Matthew Tipton has declared that it is getting close to 'make your mind up time' for on-loan Larne star Ben Tilney.

The versatile Englishman is out of contract at Inver Park in the summer and Portadown are keen to keep him after a string of impressive performances as well as some stunning goals since arriving at Shamrock Park in January.

It is understood, however, that full-time football may be on offer for Tilney elsewhere in the Irish League and that could blow the Ports out of the water.

"We've made him an offer, it's sitting on the table with him at the minute," said Tipton, who will look for the Ports to tighten their grip on ninth place when they travel to Warrenpoint Town today before facing them again when the split comes.

"How long it sits on the table, I will make that decision very soon because we want people here who are desperate to play for the club like what we saw against Larne. I've got to make sure it's right for the club and right for the rest of the players."

Tilney isn't the only loan player who is a regular in the Ports line-up. Goalkeeper Jacob Carney has had a major impact since arriving from Manchester United after Christmas and Ben Guy, in from Aston Villa, has also added Premier League quality.

Adding that standard of player as a short-term option is something that Tipton will still consider going forward as he also builds for the future with defender Paul Finnegan signing a new three-year contract to go alongside captain Luke Wilson and striker Lee Bonis committing themselves to their hometown club for the next five years.

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Eamon Scannell, currently on loan from Linfield, could also join in a permanent move.

"We wouldn't do it within the Irish League unless it's an exceptional case. We have Eamon Scannell in on loan and that is a different scenario because he's out of contract in the summer and potentially we want to sign him," said Tipton.

"Ben Guy is a Premier League footballer in England so getting that opportunity to bring him in, it might open other doors, both for him and us. Villa might see the progress he has made here and it might be worthwhile them sending another player over.

"We'll look at it over the summer. It's a big market out there and the good thing with us is that we don't just look in the Northern Ireland market.

"Sometimes it doesn't work because you are bringing somebody who hasn't really played senior football and it's tough."

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