Diarmaid Doherty Sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat
He’d been kicking his heels on the Cork City bench for much of last season, so Danny Morrissey knew that the time was probably right to move on from Turner’s Cross.
The striker had been at his home-town club for the best part of seven seasons but given that he’s just turned 23, he naturally feels he still has plenty to offer in the Premier Division. His move to Finn Harps may have come at just the right time.
“I hadn’t seen much first team football for the past couple of seasons to be honest,” he said.
“When I spoke to Ollie (Horgan) about a move to Harps, there was the promise of a regular place in the team which is what I need.
“Obviously, I’d enjoyed my time at Cork. I had been playing well this past five years or so, but in fairness, in the last couple of seasons, I didn’t get to play as much as I would have wanted.”
A recurring injury problem didn’t help the striker’s situation. He’s had operations on an ankle injury and that led to problems with his hamstrings too.
“I’m injury-free now,” he pointed out. “I’m feeling good and ready to go again.”
Morrissey was speaking to the Democrat yesterday before embarking on his journey to Letterkenny ahead of the start of pre-season training with Harps on Thursday evening.
It’s a brand new departure for the Cork native, but he said he’s excited by the move.
“It’ll be my first time away from home, so it is a bit daunting,” he said.
“I’ll probably only get to go back home again every four or five weeks, but that’s the way it is.”
Aside from his new house-mate Ethan Boyle, Morrissey said he doesn’t know any of his new team-mates, but got a few words of advice from Cork City's Johnny Dunleavy before signing.
“I know Johnny’s from Ballybofey and he told me all about Harps and just to go for it,” he said.
“I know Ollie Horgan as well from my time playing for the Irish Schoolboys team. Ollie was the manager for the Ireland team when I was at Middleton CBS. I know him pretty well, and I know what kind of manager he is.”
As the marquee signing of pre-season, there’s likely to be added pressure on the former Republic of Ireland U-19 international to hit the ground running and more importantly, to deliver in front of goal.
“Ollie did mention to me that last season, the goals came from right through the team, but there was no real, out and out scorer,” he said.
“Hopefully I can deliver on that front.”
The way the fixtures have fallen means Morrissey could well be making his Harps debut against his former club on the opening night of the season on February 24th.
“It couldn’t have worked out any better,” he said.
“We’ve Cork at home in the first game, and it’ll be a big night for both clubs. Cork will obviously be looking to get off to a good start, as we will ourselves.”
The fact that three teams will be relegated next season will make Harps’ task all the more difficult in 2017 but Morrissey feels the team showed last season that they can take on such a challenge head on.
“I suppose the important thing for us will be to try and pick up as many points as we can against the teams around us,” he said.
“Our home form will also be important. If we can pick up enough points at home, we can do well.
“It’s not going to be easy, there’s no doubt about it.
“ But you’ve just got to get on with it and if we can get off to a decent start, you never know.”