Keith O’Hara may have left Portadown after a 20-year playing career but his connection to the town will remain following an appointment as manager of Rectory Rangers.
The Brownstown Park-based Mid-Ulster League Division One outfit - who boast a social club in the shadow of Portadown’s Shamrock Park pitch - this week confirmed O’Hara’s arrival as a signal of “shared ambitions”.
O’Hara’s decision to reject the offer of a contract to stay at Portadown cut links with a club that dominated his playing career. Now he admits excitement at stepping into the next stage of life in the game.
“I left Portadown looking for the right project and right club moving forward and feel I have found it in Rectory Rangers,” said O’Hara. “I was open to offers of a role as player, coach, manager or a combination as long as it was something I felt suited what I can still bring to the table.
“I will continue to play but am excited about the move into management and have been very impressed with Rectory’s plans.
“There is a change in the levels but Rectory have a great committee and I will be bringing in people who know Mid-Ulster football.
“No matter what standard, football still needs people who are willing to work hard, show the right attitude and have that hunger to be the best possible.
“You get out of this game what you put in and everyone at the club is keen to push on.”
Rectory can boast a recent tradition of Irish League links - with former senior players having lined out for the club in past seasons such as Mickey Collins and Darren Murphy.
“Darren has actually signed on again to play when possible for another season, so that’s great,” said O’Hara. “I met the players this week and everyone signed contracts, plus I have already started arranging pre-season friendlies, summer training and talking to targets.”