New faces stack up at Harps ahead of new season

Finn Harps have a squad bolstered up in numbers to 28 as they continue on their pre-season.

Finn Harps have a squad bolstered up in numbers to 28 as they continue on their pre-season.

Manager Peter Hutton this week confirmed Michéal Doherty, Johnny Bonner, Mark Forker, Sean Riley, Sean McCarron, Josh Mailey and Matthew Crossan have signed with the Ballybofey club.

Doherty, formerly of Swilly Rovers, had been on trial and scored against Erne Wanderers in Harps’ first outing of the calendar year, while Bonner, who can play central or on the left, was previously on trial at Harps before making his way to High Point University in North Carolina.

Mark Forker played for Harps for three seasons, between 2009 and 2011, before lining out last term for Letterkenny Rovers. Similarly, Matthew Crossan, who played with Harps until 2010, has re-signed. The Killea native plays left-back and started last season at Derry City.

Sean Riley is an American native whose mother is from Derry and father is from Mayo. The left-sided player has represented Harps in pre-season.

Sean McCarron was also on the books of Derry City and Kildrum Tigers and plays as a striker and Gareth Breslin is a left-back from the Maiden City. Letterkenny Rovers’ Josh Mailey is also on board.

Harps were due to face the Inishowen Oscar Traynor team at Maginn Park in Buncrana last night with Stephen O’Donnell expected to play for the first time in 11 months. The Manorcunningham native suffered a crucicate injury last season.

O’Donnell, along with fellow cruciate injury victims Hugh Carlin and Blaine Curtis, have also re-signed for the club, as has goalkeeper Rory Kelly.

“It’s great to have such a decent size of squad available for the new season,” Hutton said. “Things are ticking along nicely and we’ve also the majority of the U-19 squad on senior contracts so we’re looking forward to seeing how things go.”

Harps are in friendly action away to Dundalk on Friday, February 8, and welcome Derry City to Finn Park on Sunday, February 24.

Harps are also in talks with Sligo Rovers and Letterkenny Rovers to finalise friendlies ahead of their first game of the Aitricity League First Division against Waterford United in March.