Finn Harps U-17s captain Daragh Ellison believes the players will have Kevin McHugh in their minds when they prepare for Saturday’s Mark Farren Cup Final against Cork City at Finn Park (kick off 5pm).
For many players on this young Harps squad, Saturday’s final will be the biggest match in their young careers up until now.
Ellison said the fact that Mark Farren played with Harps, and had many friends at the club, would make winning the final that bit more special.
Ellison has also been training regularly with the Harps first team and was included in the match-day squad for the visit of Galway United to Ballybofey earlier in the season.
Ollie Horgan is also his PE teacher at St. Eunan’s College in Letterkenny and he said getting the call-up for the Galway game was brilliant.
“I didn’t expect it at the start of the season,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ll get a few more chances now.”
The Cork U17s qualified for the decider having beaten Cabinteely in the semi-final. They are currently seventh in a very closely fought Southern section of the U17 league and a play-off place is still a possibility. Declan Boyle's young Harps side continue to impress in the Northern section and currently occupy second place. Goals from Joel Bradley Walsh, Stephen Black, Ronan Gallagher and Gabriel Aduaka secured a 4-0 over neighbours Derry City in the Brandywell last weekend. A place in the end of season play-offs is now guaranteed.
Harps manager Declan Boyle has appealed to Harps supporters to come out and enjoy what will be a special day for all at Finn Harps FC. “It is fantastic that we will be hosting a national final at Finn Park so hopefully the local football community will come along and help make it a great occasion.
“Both teams have put in a huge effort to get to the final and are more than capable of putting on a match which will be a fitting tribute to the football legend that was Mark Farren” he said.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 5pm and there will be extra-time and penalties if required.
Finn Harps squad: Eoin McGing , Adrian McLaughlin, Daragh Ellison (Captain), Lee McLaughlin, Stephen Black, Joel Bradley Walsh, Brendan Barr, Ronan Gallagher, Jack Doherty, Jamie Doherty, Adam McCaffery, Nathan Logue, Dylan Woods, Luke Rudden, Gabriel Aduaka Jnr, Corey McBride, Conor Black, Stephen McFadden, Finnian O’Donnell, Jack O’Donnell.
Head Coach: Declan Boyle
Assistant Coach: Barry Mullen