Paddy McCourt in action for Finn Harps
Paddy McCourt has paid tribute to the Finn Harps management team of Ollie Horgan and Paul Hegarty, insisting that as human beings, you couldn’t get better.
The Derryman will make his final appearance at Finn Park on Monday evening when Finn Harps meet Limerick FC in the opening leg of their promotion/relegation play-off final.
And ahead of that eagerly awaited clash, McCourt insisted that if Harps don’t make it out of the play-offs, the club needs to hold on to the managerial duo.
“He’s a good man Ollie,” McCourt said.
“You can say what you want about him and ‘Higgsy’. But as human beings, you would go far pushed to meet two better.
“They work so hard for this club. A lot of that goes unnoticed but certainly not from the players and I think Finn Harps are lucky to have them both.
“Regardless of what happens over the next two games, I think if they can manage to retain them, I think they’ll be in a good place next season.”
The midfielder will retire at the end of this campaign after taking up a new role with Derry City as head of youth development.
He recently returned from a injury in time to feature for Harps in their final league game against Cabinteely and then the two play-off matches with Drogheda United. He now wants to play his part in helping Harps get the better of Limerick.
“It will be a great way to finish,” he said.
“I won’t be here to sample the Premier league again next year but it will be great for the people here at the club who have treated me so well over the past couple of seasons. Hopefully I can contribute to helping them get back into the Premier Division where the club wants to be.”
McCourt said Harps were able to attract a number of new signings in July which coincided with the start of a long unbeaten run in the league. Harps have lost only once in 14 games in all competitions - their only defeat being the 2-0 loss at Dundalk in the FAI Cup.
“We managed to get a few good signings in during the July transfer window and they have come in and helped us immensely,” McCourt said.
“Niall Logue came in along with Nathan Boyle, Jacob Borg, John Kavanagh and Timmy Sobowale and they have all contributed greatly to what’s been a great run.
“For myself, I missed a good part of it with a knee injury. Thankfully I’ve come back at a good time and hopefully we can finish the job over the next few games.”
Looking back on last Friday night’s 2-0 win over Drogheda United which saw Harps through to the play-off final 3-1 on aggregate, McCourt paid tribute to the 2,200 supporters who generated a great atmosphere at Finn Park.
“The fans played their part. It was a brilliant night to play football,” he said.
“There was a mizzle the whole way through and the grass was nice and slick and you were able to move the ball at pace. There were a few tackles and it was just a good Friday night of football.
“I’m sure the fans who turned up really enjoyed it and hopefully they’ll be back again on Monday cause we’ll need them again.”
He added, “We are confident but we are not going to be overconfident. Limerick are a good side, they have good players.
“They have a good budget there. They probably shouldn’t be second bottom in the league for the budget they have. Whatever has gone on this season, they’ve obviously struggled. It’s a two-legged game and whoever turns up on both days will more than likely get through.”