Adam McCallum hoping to build on personal Portadown boost and team gains

Adam McCallum played down his impact off the bench for Portadown with a simple claim of “I’m a defender, I just want to defend”.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 2:00 pm
Portadown’s Adam McCallum sliding in to challenge Leroy Millar. Pic by Pacemaker.

However, the centre-back’s defensive determination at the heart of the home backline proved central to a first clean sheet of the Danske Bank Premiership campaign.

McCallum, now in his fourth season with the Shamrock Park club, has found playing time limited across the end of Portadown’s life in the Bluefin Sport Championship and start of a senior return.

Injury to Paddy McNally inside the opening half-hour of Saturday’s draw with Ballymena offered an opportunity in which McCallum impressed by playing to his established strengths despite unfamiliar surroundings.

“I was annoyed I wasn’t starting today (after coming on the previous week as a substitute) but got the call and then, after coming on, it was about defending as well as I can,” he said. “What I do right is to head a ball, kick a ball and let others play....

“That’s my job and along with Kevin (Healy) and Paul (Finnegan) we defended well - and as a team today.

“Last year I was in the team then got injured and was back then was out of the side then injured in pre-season, so it has been hard.

“But it’s all about working away off the pitch and supporting the boys as much as I can, I want to play football and want to play for Portadown.

“It was strange coming in as obviously the first time we’ve played together and as a back three.

“It seemed to just click...it is new, we’ve not worked that much on it in training either but it worked so I’ll not complain.

“I thought Kevin was brilliant (on his debut), I know Paul well, we share lifts so are quite close.

“I like a back three, I enjoy being part of that and if everyone knows their roles I think it’s good.

“I probably prefer being in the centre and it allowed me to just do my job then get the ball to those on the left or right.

“You’re talking to your left and right so it’s about communication really.

“But I’m just happy being anywhere on the pitch.”

Having conceded nine goals in the previous two league games, McCallum accepted the boost in confidence off the back of a blank.

“If we can score and get a win then great but a clean sheet means you will not lose,” he said. “If we defend like that for the rest of the season it will help us pick up points.

“It’s massive for me not having played as much but for the team also, to know we can compete at this level.

“Defending so well helped to get us promoted.”

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