Finn Harps are likely to have a few of their new faces on show for the first time when they welcome Mervue United to Finn Park on Saturday night.
Midfielder Gary Curran from Galway United has joined up with fellow summer signings Mark McGoldrick, Barry O’Mahoney and Kevin Devaney from Sligo Rovers, while Stephen O’Donnell has recovered from a hamstring injury picked up against Shelbourne last month and Peter Hutton and John Paul Gallagher are also in line to play.
Packie Mailey remains sidelined with a broken bone in his foot and although Ciaran Coll and Gareth Harkin are suspended, Paddy McLaughlin returns following a hamstring complaint.
There’s been plenty of change in and around the Twin Towns since Hutton and director of Football Felix Healy took over in April and for the first time Healy admits to having a selection headache.
“For once we are spoilt for choice as to who’s going to start,” he said yesterday. “We have four new players and although we will see a couple of them all four will not be in from the start. We’ve a practise match planned for tonight and will have a look at a few things there so we will know come Saturday. Paddy is back and Stephen’s hamstring is holding up well but he needs matches more than anything.”
Harps’ last competitive action was a fortnight ago when two Blaine Curtis goals saw them depart Ferrycarrig Park with all three points following a 2-0 win away to Wexford Youths.
“It was an encouraging performance,” Healy noted. “Wexford had enjoyed a good 1-0 win against Waterford away and it could have been much greater than that margin. They were expecting something from the game with us and were surprised at how it turned out. Our ball retention mightn’t have been as good as it could’ve been in the second half but we scored two goals and were denied only a third because of a linesman so we’re getting there.”
Mervue shared the spoils with Waterford last week in a 1-1 and have enjoyed the upper hand in their dealings with Harps this season, winning both games. Rory Gaffney scored the only goal of the game when the Galway side defeated Harps in the EA Sports Cup and Tom King was on target twice as the team managed by Johnny Glynn won the league encounter 2-1 at Fahy’s Field in May.