LEAGUE OF IRELAND

Pascal Millien wont play for Harps until next month

Work permit granted - but only from June

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Pascal Millien wont play for Harps until next month

Pascal Millien

Pascal Millien will have to wait for another month before he makes his long-awaited Finn Harps debut.

The former Sligo Rovers midfielder, who has been training with Harps since the start of the season, finally received a work permit last week.

However, the permit does not make him eligible until June 5th. That means the Haitian midfielder's debut can't come any earlier than in Harps' home game against Shamrock Rovers on June 16th after the mid-season break. 

Harps Secretary John Campbell said it had been the most complicated signing of a player that he had ever been involved with in his time at the club.

“First it took a number of weeks to get him signed and after that we then had to apply to the Department of Labour for Pascal’s work permit back in the middle of March," Mr. Campbell said.

"There were a lot of queries and hurdles that we had to clear to finally get the permit to allow him to play. The amount of work involved in this signing dwarfed any other that I ever worked in my time as Harps Secretary.

"There were 126 emails between myself and various agencies over the last eight weeks. It was just incredible the amount of back-up material that was required to get Pascal registered as a Harps player. While it was a long saga I would just like to thank those people behind the scenes who helped me because it could have taken even longer without them” Mr Campbell said.

Applying for a work permit is also a costly piece of work. “It’s money that has to be paid up front and is non-returnable even if the application fails. We’re just glad that we have been successful and that we now have Pascal for the second half of the season” Mr Campbell said.

30-year-old Millien featured seven times for Fort Lauderdale Strikers towards the end of last season having joined from another Florida State side Jacksonville Armada F.C. a club he played 37 times with in the previous campaign.

He made his debut for the full Haitian national team in 2006, aged 20. Millien enjoyed two successful seasons at Sligo Rovers winning the Premier Division League title in 2012 and the following year he helped them win the FAI Senior Cup. He was born in Haiti, but moved to Lakeland, Florida as a teenager.

Pascal turned professional in 2010 when he signed a contract with the FC Tampa Bay before joining Sligo Rovers in early 2012.

He moved to Bangladeshi side Sheikh Russel KC in February 2014. In January 2015, Millien returned to the NASL signing with Jacksonville Armada FC and went on to play 37 times for them in that campaign before moving to Fort Lauderdale Strikers.