Harps legend McIntyre joins management team at Finn Park

Finn Harps FC are delighted to announce the addition of Declan McIntyre to its management team.

Finn Harps FC are delighted to announce the addition of Declan McIntyre to its management team.

Declan has served at Finn Park as a player, assistant manager and manager of the reserve side. Growing up in Donegal Town it was his childhood ambition to play for Harps, which he realised at the end of the 1976/77 season against Drogheda United. Declan then joined Sligo Rovers and played in the FAI Cup Final in 1981 for the Bit o’Red. He returned to Harps for the start of the 1982/83 season and remained with his home county club until 1987. He then moved onto Galway United winning the FAI Cup in 1991 with the Westerners and returned to Harps once more in 1992, remaining until 1994. Declan then had spells with Sligo Rovers and Derry City before hanging up his gloves.

He moved into coaching upon his retirement as a player and re-joined Harps as assistant manager in August 1997. He also had responsibility for Harps reserve team and in 1998/99 his young charges won both the Ulster Senior League and the Ulster/Donegal Youth League. Declan then joined the FAI as a Regional Development Officer before being appointed National Goalkeeping Co-ordinator.

As one of Ireland’s longest serving international coaches, Declan has been with the Irish U19 side since 1999. He was a member of the coaching staff with the Irish U20 sides that qualified for the FIFA U20 world cups in Nigeria in 1999 and the UAE in 2003. He was also a member of staff at several European Championship Finals under Brian Kerr and more recently with Paul Doolin in Romania.

Finn Harps Manager Peter Hutton said the appointment is another important development at Finn Park: “Declan has coaching experience at both league of Ireland and international level so I am delighted we have acquired his services. The technical expertise he will bring to the club will be of significant benefit to our goalkeeping training and indeed to all areas of our coaching operation.”

Declan is looking forward to the challenge: “I think everyone knows I have a special relationship with the club, so I am delighted to be coming back to Finn Park to work with Peter and Sean. There is a lot of very promising players here and I think we can offer them a great platform to fulfil their potential,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hutton is hoping his side maintain their unbeaten run when they face Longford Town, in the League of Ireland Airticity First Division on Saturday night,in Flancare Park, Longford. (kick-off 7.30 pm)

“We are on decent run. We are unbeaten in five games and while we know that Longford have a strong squad and are chasing promotion we don’t fear them and all the boys are looking forward to the game,” said Hutton.

Harps will be without centre half Mark Scoltock for the trip to Strokestown Road. The former Derry City and Institute man is still receiving treatment on a back injury suffered in the warm up a number of weeks ago before the Waterford game.

Gary Merritt is also on the treatment table for a groin injury and is on a race against the clock to be fit while Thomas McBride is still suspended.

However, on the good news front Aaron O’Hagan is back from suspension and is expected to slot into the centre of midfield as Harps hope to build on last weekend’s 2-0 home win over SD Galway.