Saturday will be a huge day for everybody involved with Ballinamallard United FC, as not only will the first team return back to Ferney Park for the first time in 18 months, but that game will be a Co-Operative Insurance quarter-final first leg tie against Irish Premier League side Portadown who include former Ballinamallard players Ryan McCluskey and Chris Curran in their ranks.

The club were given the green light by the IFA's Intermediate Committee yesterday (Wednesday) and Chairman Desi Quinn is now just hoping that they get favourable weather to make sure that the game goes ahead after the floods of recent weeks.

"We've done all we can now and everything is in place. We can't legislate for the weather in Fermanagh this last month but hopefully we'll get the kindness of the Gods and the sun will shine down on us. We would be hopeful that the pitch will be okay for the game to be played on Saturday," said Quinn.

He added: "This is what any guy that kicked a football in Fermanagh this last decade has wanted. To see a big club coming to Fermanagh for a big cup match." Mallards manager Whitey Anderson and his side have travelled to Armagh for their 'home' games for the past 18 months and he is delighted that the hard work has finally paid off for the club as they get ready to return to their Ballinamallard base.

"I'm delighted for the players and I'm also delighted for the hard working committee and supporters and the volunteers who have made this possible. It is great for everybody involved," said Anderson.

And Whitey believes that the club could not have asked for a bigger game to host on their return back to Ferney Park.

"We couldn't have asked for any better with Portadown coming to Ferney Park for a quarter-final cup game. It is a massive game and there is obviously the link there too with Ryan and Chris being involved with Portadown," he stated.

The Mallards surprised Portadown in the league last year as they defeated the Ports at Shamrock Park, although Portadown eventually went on to win the league. And Ronnie McFall's side have been in a good run of form of late with wins coming over Linfield, Crusaders and Dungannon Swifts.

Anderson accepts that his side face a tough task on Saturday with Kevin Braniff, Wes Boyle, Gary McCutcheon and McCluskey some of the quality operators within the Portadown ranks. However, he states that they are not just looking to make up the numbers.

"Obviously we will be facing quality opponents and we will have to play well to compete with them but we're not going into the game to lie down. Now that we have got this far in the competition, which is a huge achievement in itself, we want to see if we can go a step further," Anderson explained.

"We're looking forward to being back at home and that's the big thing about Saturday, to have the game at Ferney Park," he added.