Like most others as Christmas drew to a close Ciaran Greene’s thoughts turned to the New Year.
Finn Harps director of football Felix Healy had contacted the 24-year-old over the holidays with a view to joining the Ballybofey club and after weighing up his options the Letterkenny native opted to make the plunge.
Last summer, Healy had attended an Ulster Senior League fixture between Kildrum Tigers and Letterkenny Rovers and although Stephen O’Donnell was brought in from Raymond McDaid’s team straight away, Greene also impressed.
“Felix called me over Christmas about joining and it’s something I had thought about,” the new signing said. “I’m 24 now and am glad to get the chance to play senior football again so I want to give it a go. I thought here’s an opportunity and if I give it everything then we’ll see what happens.
Despite his relative youth, Greene has a number of notable achievements on the playing fields, whether soccer or Gaelic games. As a schoolboy Greene was a two-time SFAI All-Ireland senior champion, in 2004 and 2005, the second of which he was St Eunan’s College captain when Tallaght Community School were blown aside in a 4-1 win at
Belfield. He also played Irish U-16 Schoolboys and for the Irish Universities, alongside the likes of Darren O’Dea and Anthony Stokes and against another Celtic player, Joe Ledley of Wales.
Greene had played for Institute and Omagh Town and made it as far as the Derry City first team bench in the Setanta Sports Cup in 2007 before making the move to Sligo Rovers, where Brian Dorrian from Killybegs was in charge of the U-20 and A teams and Paul Cook the seniors.
Seamus Coleman was part of the Rovers side in September 2008 when Greene made his debut, coming off the bench against Bohemians in the Premier Division.
“I left Sligo the following year and at the time spent a lot of time concentrating on Gaelic football,” Greene, an IT Sligo graduate, added. “With St Eunan’s, we had won two successive county championships and managed to make it three-in-a-row in 2009. I was
also in the Donegal panel that year for a few NFL games under John Joe Doherty and played soccer locally with Letterkenny Rovers.”
Greene, who works as a financial advisor at Gallagher/McCahey Financial Services Ltd in Letterkenny, made his first appearance in a Harps shirt on Tuesday night against Limavady United. In the first of the pre-season friendlies, he came off the bench to replace Ciaran Coll seven minutes into the second half at left-back and will hope to be part of the squad for tomorrow night’s fixture against Curragh Athletic in Killygordon.
“I would’ve played against a lot of the current first team at Harps but not with many of them, bar Kevin McHugh in Derry,” Greene added. “I have always kept an eye on Harps and was at the three cup finals in 1999 as a young boy. I’ve really enjoyed pre-season so far and at the minute I’m trying to get right for the start of the season.
“I’ve a little bit of a groin niggle but I’m going to Adam Speer every Wednesday but should be fine. I enjoyed the run-out on Tuesday.
“Harps should be thinking of pushing for promotion this season. As far as I can see, there are three good teams gone from the league in Cork City, Shelbourne and Monaghan, who all got promoted.
“That leaves Limerick as clear favourites so there’s a good opportunity for somebody else if everything goes well. From the start of pre-season things are looking good so we’ll just have to see. It’s a new challenge and hopefully we’ll be winning games before long.”