ADAM Porritt became the club’s first new signing of the close season as he agreed a contract to 2020.
The defender completed his switch from Fort William today. He now jets off on holiday to Tenerife before linking up with his new team mates for the start of pre-season training on June 17th.
The 23-year-old starred in the Lochaber club’s impressive run to the final of the North of Scotland Cup, where they pushed Brora Rangers all the way almost three weeks ago. Now, he is looking forward to the fresh challenge ahead at Station Park. He said: “I am delighted that the deal is done and I can concentrate on looking forward to pre-season now. I am happy to be here and for everything to be finalised.”
He added: “The setup of the place here was the main attraction. The pitch is beautiful and looking better than I have seen it over the last few years. If you cannot play on that surface then you should not be playing football. Everything about the club is so professional, which is good and it is close to home for me too. It is the perfect place for me to come and play football.”
Porritt envisages no problem in settling in to his new surroundings.
“I already know a few of the boys and I have played with a few of them over the years,” he revealed. “I do not really know too much about the other players but they are a good team and seemed to do well last season. I know there was a bit of a shake-up at the start of the season but they finished well and hopefully we can climb that table.”
Having gained a taste of the big game atmosphere in that North Cup final, Porritt is hungry for more such occasions but in the colours of Nairn.
“I want us to improve on where the club finished in the league last season first and foremost,” he said. “That is my main goal and maybe we will get a good cup run as well.
“Last season ended just perfectly for me. To reach the cup final was a really good send off for everyone who was leaving Fort William, including the management team. If I can get a cup run like that again at Nairn then I will be delighted.”
Both of Porritt’s goals for Fort William last season came from free kicks, including a stunning last-kick-of-the-game effort to sink Rothes in the North Cup semi-final. The set piece specialist also found the net with a penalty in his side’s shootout victory over Lossiemouth in that North Cup run. But with Gregg Main and Ross Naismith already at Nairn, he accepts he will have to start from the bottom of the pecking order to have the right to have a go from a dead ball for his new club.
He said: “I will bide my time and wait my turn, I am happy with that as the boys already here are quality.
“It was a great moment to score that free kick in the semi-final and it was great for everyone in the team to say that we finished the season in a final. It was me who scored the goal but the team’s effort throughout that entire cup run was first class.
“People might say we had an easy run to the final at Fort but we had to beat what was in front of us. This Nairn team is more than capable of beating any team in the league and we have the players to go on a similar run.”
Manager Ronnie Sharp said: “We are delighted to get Adam on board. We watched him playing for Fort earlier in the season and then recently, we have watched him in the semi-final and the final of the North of Scotland Cup. I thought he was excellent in both games and the good thing is, he has good experience in the Highland League despite being only 23 years old.
“He comes in as a quality defender, which is an area we were looking to strengthen. He has good positional sense about him for a young boy and he is the right age to come in. Hopefully, he will improve us.
“He is a very good footballer and he seems to be a very good communicator on the park, which we have been looking for. He has a cool head and he does not seem to be rash in his decision-making. He is a very good passer of the football and those are the traits that we are looking for from the players here.
“He played under Davie Kirkwood at Brora when they won the league and to play in that team, you have to be a good footballer because they were excellent at that stage. He then had a bad injury but that is a full season he has had with Fort William, so I am confident he will be a really good signing for us.”
Porritt will not be the last of the summer signings at Station Park if Sharp has his way.
“We are looking to bring three in,” the manager revealed. “We lost one defender and now he has been replaced. We will be looking to add another two players to strengthen the midfield and the defence. Hopefully, by the time pre-season training starts, we will have another couple of players in.”
Porritt started his career with Ross County before moving on to Brora Rangers, where he played in the Cattachs’ 2014/15 Highland League championship winning team, although a serious knee injury curtailed the defender’s season.
A change of manager saw Porritt move on to Fort William towards the end of the following campaign and then in his sole full season at Claggan Park, he played a starring role in that recent cup run, pushing Brora Rangers all the way in the final with the much-fancied Sutherland club needing three late goals to clinch a 4-1 success.