INSTITUTE: Philip Lowry signs short term deal with Portadown

Philip Lowry. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Philip Lowry. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

Former Institute man Philip Lowry is determined to play his part in reviving Portadown’s season in the coming months.

On Monday the Ports confirmed the short-term signing of the Limavady.

Lowry last played in the Irish Premiership in 2014 before leaving Linfield for a spell in the League of Ireland with Derry City.

Work commitments in London saw Lowry leave the Candystripes in September last year, but now he is ready to revive his football career back on familiar territory.

“I am delighted to be back in the Irish League,” he said.

“Everything came about so quickly. I got a call from Ronnie McFall last week, and it was a bolt from the blue.

“Thankfully everything was sorted very quickly and now I am a Portadown player.

“It is a big challenge for me. I haven’t played competitive football since leaving Derry, but I have been training and staying fit.

“I had been in contact with a few teams in the Ryman League, but the logistics of travelling across London for training etc was going to prove tricky.

“Thankfully this opportunity has come about and I can’t wait to get started.”

Lowry could make his debut against champions Crusaders on Saturday.

“I took a look at the fixtures coming up, and I probably could have started at an easier time,” the 26-year-old joked.

“Crusaders on Saturday and then Cliftonville and Linfield. But that’s what you want, the big games.”

He is hoping to savour more Irish Cup glory with Portadown, having already secured three winners medal before when at Linfield.

“We are seventh in the table and a long way back, so the title is probably too big a challenge,” the midfielder added.

“But the Irish Cup is a big target, and trying to climb as many places in the league as possible.

“It is fair to say Portadown have under-performed this season. There are some quality players in the squad, so hopefully we can improve and go on a decent run.

“I am certainly not here to make up the numbers. I want to try and help the team get on a winning run, and we will see where it takes us.

“I obviously know a lot of the former Linfield lads like Mark McAllister, Michael Gault, Robert Garrett and Chris Casement. It will be good to link up with them again.”

Lowry admits he has always kept a watchful eye on the Irish League, despite venturing into the League of Ireland and then departing to England.

“I always look out for the results and things, and obviously my brother Stephen plays for Linfield,” he added.

“The league is small and everyone knows everyone else, so I don’t think it will be a problem settling back in again.

“It won’t be long before I am out there playing again and getting stuck in. It is an exciting league and every game is a challenge.

“I remember it well from my time with Linfield so I am looking forward to playing in the Premiership again.”