Finn Harps were awarded an early Christmas present as five members of last year’s squad re-signed for the club ahead of the 2013 season. Top goalscorer Kevin McHugh was joined by Ciaran Gallagher, Michael Funston, Jordan Duffy and Thomas McMonagle.
Kevin McHugh’s signing means that 2013 will be his twelfth season as a Harps player. The striker, who has played 334 games for the club, will be hoping to add to his tally of 161 goals in the blue of Harps.
“As everyone knows Kevin has just completed his testimonial year and proved again last season that he remains one of the most prolific goalscorers in the league”, said Harps boss Peter Hutton.
“Kevin’s experience at the top level means he can offer the kind of leadership qualities which are an invaluable to the club.”
Thomas McMonagle spent all of last season with Harps on loan from neighbours Derry City – however, he has now made that move permanent. “I am delighted Thomas has re-signed with us,” said Hutton, “because like so many of our young people in these hard times I know he has had to seriously consider emigrating to secure employment. Having come on loan last year, Thomas really grew in stature as the season progressed, looked liked he was enjoying his football and he will only get better.”
Despite being just twenty-one years old, 2013 will be goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher’s fifth season at the club. The previous four years have seen him been first-choice goalkeeper for much of that time and the netminder is fast approaching a century of games for the club. Peter Hutton: “It’s remarkable that Ciaran is one of the more experienced players in the squad because he is still so young - especially in goalkeeper years! The great thing about Ciaran is that he knows there is always new things to learn. He has the best mentor possible in Declan McIntryre so I am Ciaran is only going to get better and better.”
Letterkenny man Michael Funston returned to Harps midway through last season, having spent a couple of seasons in the Irish League at Dungannon Swifts. “One of Michael’s best assets is his competitive nature”, said Hutton. “He has an infectious will to win which is great to have around the club. No doubt about it he has the ability and experience to be a very important player for us in the coming season.” Prior to his return last season, Funston has spent seven seasons with Harps between 2004 and 2010 and was a member of the First Division winning squad in his debut season.
Jordan Duffy made his Harps debut as a substitute in Peter Hutton’s first game in sole-charge of Harps against Waterford United at Finn Park last season. Duffy’s aim for 2013 will be to make himself a regular member of the Harps squad. “Jordan knows he has a lot of work ahead of him, but he’s a talented lad and has shown the right mentality since coming to Finn Park”, said Harps boss Hutton. “We all know how hard it is to progress to senior football but if Jordan keeps focused he has a real chance.”