BY LIAM PORTER
THE identity of the new Finn Harps manager is expected to be finally revealed tomorrow at a press conference and, while the Board will meet tonight to consider the second round interviews conducted last week, there are strong suggestions that Joe Boyle will be confirmed as the new manager.
Five candidates are thought to be still under consideration for the job but former Harps player and coach Joe Boyle is believed to favourite for the position just ahead of former Galway and Sligo manager Don O’Riordan.
Annagry native Boyle managed the Republic of Ireland Under 17s for a time and is understood that the interview panel was particularly impressed with both his interview and the presentation he gave over the last fortnight.
Club secretary John Campbell who confirmed yesterday that ten – and not twelve – candidates had initially been interviewed and that was then whittled down to five, said the decision to be made by Board members tonight would be “a huge call,” adding “it is by no means a foregone conclusion.”
“We had thirteen applications and one was ruled out due not meeting the necessary requirements, but before initial interviews took place two more candidates were ruled out because they did not have the requisite A licence.”
That A licence coaching requirement now also applies to any assistant manager, but the Harps secretary says he did not believe that would be a stumbling block in terms of making a decision tonight.
“I don’t think that the requirement for the assistant to have an A licence will cause a problem to any of the candidates still under consideration, but I also don’t think that anyone should assume that tonight’s meeting will be a formality.”
While he had ruled himself out as a candidate for the manager’s job, Declan Boyle, the former Harps captain, has been mentioned as a possible assistant should Joe Boyle get the job.
The Harps Secretary, who confirmed that the second round of interviews had been concluded on Friday, said he believed that while the process had been a long one, it had been a good one for the club.
“This is a huge call and I think that by conducting interviews and seeking further information we have done everything possible to try to ensure we get the best person for the job. Still I honestly believe that the board will deliberate for a number of hours tonight on the five candidates before they come to any decision.
The quality of the submissions from the candidates really was fantastic. They had a lot of homework done on the club, lots of analysis and differing ideas on what the pathway for the club should be. In my opinion there are a few candidates with very little to choose between them and this will be a difficult decision still to make.”
Campbell confirmed that following a selection by the board, confirmation of terms would have to be agreed with the new manager and the club would have to inform the FAI.
“There are a few loose ends that would have to be tied up after any decision is made, we’d have to confirm terms with the successful candidate and the FAI has to be informed so that the manager meets licensing requirements. I don’t foresee that being too big an issue and all going to plan we are hoping we can make a formal announcement at a press conference some time on Tuesday,” he concluded.
Sean Connor, the ex Sligo Rovers and Bohemians manager, is also believed to be on the short-list, as is Sean ‘Wizard’ McGowan and a joint ticket of Paddy Foy and Derry-based Pat McFadden.