Ports prepare for glittering Irish Cup tie

Ports captain James Peden. PIC:  MARK JAMIESON
Ports captain James Peden. PIC: MARK JAMIESON

Portstewart captain James Peden says his side just need to ‘keep focused’ on their own game, as they prepare to take on Portadown in Saturday’s sixth round clash.

It’s the biggest home game in the Club’s history, and the atmosphere around the town is electric as fans prepare for what promises to be a huge day for Gary Taylor’s young side.

Club Captain, 24-year-old James Peden was cautious to put any pressure on his team mates saying that his side ‘just needed to stick to their own game’.

“There is no doubt that it is a big game, but we haven’t really talked much about it.

“We spoke briefly about it after Saturday’s league game with Moyola, but to be honest the boys are keeping themselves grounded.”

The young defender has been at Seahaven for five years, and although he admits it’s the biggest game for him in the sky blue jersey, he says the game will be a ‘good test’ for him and his team mates.

“We have been playing very well this season and getting some good results. We didn’t get to where we are without hard work. I just think we need to focus on our own game. It’ll be a good test for us, especially for some of the younger boys, it’ll let us see how far we have come.”

James, who is a Portstewart lad says that there is a lot of hype about the tie in the seaside town.

“There is lots of talk about the game. And the committee have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes, it’s good to see people taking in an interest in the team,” he said.

Meanwhile Ports boss Gary Taylor has said that his side will be treating the tie just like any other game.

“We will keep everything as normal,” he said.

“We will keep the same warm up and the same team talk before.

“My only worry is that on the day some of the younger boys may freeze, especially because of the large crowds that are expected.

“But, there is no pressure on us. We have nothing to lose.

“As a manager I am looking forward to it.

“As a player I always liked to test myself against the big teams, it’s good experience, however this time around I will have a wee bit more pressure on me as a manager, I can’t just think about my own game this time around.”

Supporters should note that tickets are available from Paul Cox or from the Clubhouse prior to match day, however you can still pay at the gate on the day.

FULL PREVIEW SEE P46