KEVIN McHugh has re-signed for Finn Harps for the 2013 – which will be his twelfth season at Finn Park – with four more joining the Killea ace in penning new deals.
Top goalscorer McHugh was joined by Ciaran Gallagher, Michael Funston, Jordan Duffy and Thomas McMonagle.
McHugh held his testimonial recently – and will now be aiming to add to his tally of 161 goals. McHugh has been top scorer for Harps in nine of his previous eleven seasons with the club and has spoken recently of his desire to play on at Harps.
Team manager Peter Hutton sees McHugh as the centrepiece of the jigsaw he’s building on Navenny Street.
“Kevin proved again last season that he remains one of the most prolific goalscorers in the league”, said Hutton.
“Kevin’s experience at the top level means he can offer the kind of leadership qualities which are an invaluable to the club.”
McMonagle spent all of last season with Harps on loan from neighbours Derry City – however, he has now made that move permanent.
Hutton said of the centre-back: “I am delighted Thomas has re-signed with us,” said Hutton, “because like so many of our young people in these hard times I know he has had to seriously consider emigrating to secure employment.”
Despite being just twenty-one years old, 2013 will be goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher’s fifth season at the club. The previous four years have seen him been first-choice goalkeeper for much of that time and the netminder is fast approaching a century of games for the club.
Said Huton: “It’s remarkable that Ciaran is one of the more experienced players in the squad because he is still so young – especially in goalkeeper years! The great thing about Ciaran is that he knows there is always new things to learn. He has the best mentor possible in Declan McIntryre so I am Ciaran is only going to get better and better.”
Letterkenny man Michael Funston – a First Division winner with the club in 2004 – returned to Harps midway through last season, having spent a couple of seasons in the Irish League at Dungannon Swifts.
“One of Michael’s best assets is his competitive nature”, said Hutton. “He has an infectious will to win which is great to have around the club. No doubt about it he has the ability and experience to be a very important player for us in the coming season.”
Ballindrait’s Jordan Duffy made his Harps debut as a substitute in Peter Hutton’s first game in sole-charge of Harps against Waterford United at Finn Park last season. Duffy’s aim for 2013 will be to make himself a regular member of the Harps squad.
Hutton said of the youngster:“Jordan knows he has a lot of work ahead of him, but he’s a talented lad and has shown the right mentality since coming to Finn Park.”