Social media striker Elliott Dugan brings old-school style to Portadown combat


The 21-year-old forward believes scoring goals is ‘all I really live for’ and the thirst for finding the net could provide a crucial advantage as Ports press for vital points out of the box. dropping during the last third of the season.

© Portadown striker Elliott Dugan

Dugan’s first glimpse of Irish League life was as a spectator in last Saturday’s loss to Dungannon Swifts – having arrived in Northern Ireland on Thursday night for a trial appearance which produced an instant impression and the reward of a short-term contract.

It proved to be a whirlwind introduction to the Premiership landscape.

Swift’s defeat in the match served to cement the Ports’ position in the bottom two of the table and ultimately marked the last game in charge of the club by manager Matthew Tipton.

The weekend departure of Tipton, the man who brought Dugan to the club, just days after he submitted the player’s papers, offered a harrowing first impression for the forward.

The waiting game over Dugan’s international clearance prevented his debut in front of home fans – and new Ports boss Paul Doolin – in Tuesday’s loss to the Crusaders at Shamrock Park.

Now Dugan has focused this week on preparing for a Saturday trip to Larne and a possible first appearance for the club.

Dugan’s switch to the Irish League came following a phone call from the 21-year-old to Tipton after initial contact on social media, the latter key platform for securing previous deals in Sweden and Cyprus.

“I’m just trying to gain experience and broaden my horizons in football,” Dugan said. “I was at Swindon Town and did my two-year scholarship there, plus when I was younger at some Premier League clubs briefly like Southampton and West Brom.

“I got out of my scholarship and moved abroad, grabbing an opportunity in Sweden with both hands and never looked back.

“I was then in the fourth division in Cyprus and I managed to get 30 games and scored 26 goals and a transfer to a third division club, finishing with 10 games, seven goals and two assists.

“I felt that January was the right time to come back.

“I was letting my agent handle things and then I thought I would just contact Matthew as I had nothing to lose.

“Next thing I was on a flight over and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

“I really enjoyed Thursday’s practice session.

“I’m signed until the end of the season, so we’ll see how I do.

“I just hope I can score goals to keep the club going and the fans happy.

“I’m a bit of a mix (of styles) because I can get into the feet and hold the ball, but I like to run behind.

“To be honest, it’s all about goals and getting the ball in the back of the net.

“It’s really all I live for.

“I’ve researched the club and watched some games, so I really see myself fitting in here.

“I’m just trying to help and hopefully have an impact on the team.

“This is my first return to the UK in about three years and I just want to start racing.”

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