Finn Harps manager, Ollie Horgan
Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan has spoken of his disappointment at the fact that a number of local players have declined the opportunity to stake a claim in the Finn Harps squad ahead of the new season.
Harps have been criticised in the past for not signing enough Donegal-based players and instead going after players from outside the county.
But Horgan has this week revealed how he has spoken to at least seven players from local Intermediate and Junior leagues, with all but one player showing any interest in playing senior football.
“It’s disappointing,” he said. “I can understand if a player simply can’t commit for genuine reasons like work or whatever.
“But that’s not the case with all the players I have spoken to. To be honest, their reasons for not wishing to play with us are poor. But that’s the way it is. There’s not a lot you can do about it.
The one player that has indicated that he wants to make the move to Harps is Lee Toland. The left back, who is currently on the books with Letterkenny Rovers, has been training with the League of Ireland club.
Mark Coyle of Cockhill Celtic looks like making a return to the club where he was so impressive at underage level.
“I wouldn’t count Mark in the group of local players that I’m talking about,” Horgan added.
“To me, Mark has always been a Finn Harps man and he has done well since going to play the gaelic and then since he has joined Cockhill.”
With Letterkenny Rovers and Cockhill Celtic not in FAI Intermediate Cup action this weekend, both Coyle and Toland could feature in Horgan’s plans for this Friday night’s pre-season friendly away against Premier Division Bohemians in Dalymount Park.
It’s the first official pre-season friendly of the campaign for Harps, although they played Cork City in a ‘behind-closed-doors’ friendly at Abbotstown last Saturday (Cork won 3-0).
Once again, the Harps side will feature a number of trialists as the preparations continue for the opening league game at Drogheda United on Friday, February 23rd.
Next week, Harps are back in action on Thursday night away to Sligo Rovers and they play Portadown away on Saturday, February 3rd.
Harps will play Derry City at the newly revamped Brandywell on Friday, February 9th. A planned friendly against Dundalk will not now be played.