Tiofack in talks with Harps ahead of Galway friendlies

Tiofack in talks with Harps ahead of Galway friendlies
Cameroon-born Carel Tiofack will form part of Finn Harps’ 22-man squad who will play two pre-season friendlies this weekend in Galway.

Cameroon-born Carel Tiofack will form part of Finn Harps’ 22-man squad who will play two pre-season friendlies this weekend in Galway.

The Republic of Ireland U-19 international was let go by Ipswich Town in 2012, despite newspaper reports earlier that year linking him to a move to Arsenal.

Nineteen-year-old Tiofack, who grew up in Ballincollig, Co Cork, then spent time in Spain. Picked up by the League Football Education programme, he moved to Spain, first signing for Federico Mayo, based in Jerez.

In January 2013, he joined Cadiz, training and playing with their C team in regional underage competition before making his way to Limerick FC last summer.

“We’re still talking with Carel and he will be part of the squad for Galway,” Harps manager Ollie Horgan said. “He’s a lad I saw playing for Limerick last year at Thomond Park and have made contact with.”

Harps will play against 2005 FAI Junior Cup winners Westport United at Fahy’s Field on Saturday at 3:30pm before taking on Cork City at Drom on Salthill on Sunday at 1pm.

The fixtures mark the start of Harps’ pre-season involving established first team players having already played trial matches - a 2-1 loss at Cockhill Celtic and a 2-1 victory against Drumkeen United.

David Shovlin showed up well this month and is one that could well be on Horgan’s radar. The former Drumkeen United and Convoy Arsenal winger, however, will not be making the journey to Galway after undergoing eye treatment.

Teenager Shaun Patton is the only goalkeeper signed by the club at present but Horgan will have English-born Alan Winn, who is 6ft 6in, as part of the squad. Horgan also admitted that there will be “another player” involved at the weekend.

Horgan already boosted his squad this season with the signings of Pat McCann, Matthew Henry, Johnny Bonner and Gareth Harkin.

McCann had a competent second half to the season in 2013 having impressed Peter Hutton following a two-week trial. McCann made his debut for Harps last August in a 1-0 defeat away to Athlone Town. Between then and the end of the season, he made a total of 12 appearances and scored two goals.

Midfielder Henry represented Greencastle FC before signing for Derry City in February 2012. The midfielder, who is 24, lined out for the club’s Ulster Senior League side before joining Harps last summer.

Wide-player Bonner impressed in spells last season at Finn Park having made the move from Buncrana Hearts

Harkin played for Harps in 2011 and is a former Derry City and Coleraine player who has also played with Limavady United in the Irish League. The 26-year-old has also played for Fanad United in the Ulster Senior League and returned to Ireland from Australia before Christmas.

As well as this week’s four signings, Harps have also snapped up Kevin McHugh, Michael Funston, Ciaran Coll, James Doherty, Damien McNulty, Sean McCarron, Mark Forker, Tommy Bonner, Cathal McDaid, Packie Mailey, Josh Mailey and Keith Cowan.

“We got two competitive matches and that gave us the chance to have a good look at things,” Horgan said. “We’re getting a squad together here slowly but surely and will get a couple of matches under our belts in Galway.”