BY CHRIS MCNULTY
NEW Yorker Pat McCann hopes that pre-season will bring out his best after commiting to Finn Harps for the 2014 season.
The midfielder inked a new contract with the club on Monday night.
McCann, signed by Peter Hutton last summer, after a recommendation from ex-Harps player Austin Friel, and Ballybofey native Paddy McCarry, scored two goals in 12 appearances last season.
McCann hails from Rockville Centre, New York and had been on trial at UCD in recent weeks, but has re-signed at Harps to the delight of manager Ollie Horgan.
The player is expected to be involved this Sunday in Harps’ pre-season game against Cork City in Galway.
“Last season was a great experience,” McCann told the Donegal News.
“We were still in the Cup until the quarter-finals and all the teams in the League were playing hard right up to the end. It will be a very competitive division this season with the new teams. On paper anyway it looks like it’s going to be a much stronger League this year.”
McCann has distant family ties to Inishowen and the Holy Cross College, Massachusetts graduate believes that a few weeks of pre-season will unlock his potential after an encouraging run in the team at the back end of the 2013 campaign.
He said: “I hope to be better this season. I want to put the head down and keep improving. As a player I always want to be better from one season to the next. I enjoyed my few months at Finn Harps last season.
“I’m really hungry to improve for Finn Harps. As a team we have to get better as well.
“There’s a good buzz around Finn Harps and I’m looking forward to playing again.
“I’m looking forward to getting down to Galway for the weekend to get involved against Cork City. We’ll be training a bit down there, too, so it’ll be a good professional weekend hopefully.”
Team-mates last season spoke highly of McCann’s professional attitude and this was something reference by Horgan after capturing the American’s signature earlier this week.
“The board, myself and James (Gallagher, senior coach) are all in agreement that we want players who are dedicated and professional, as well as having ability,” Horgan said.
“Pat certainly fits that criteria.”
Horgan had made McCann a priority signing – and the player has been impressed so far.
He said: “Ollie has been great since he’s come in. He’s a gentleman to speak to. He has impressed me with his vision for the club and the players who’ve been around for the last few weeks all speak very highly of him.”
Harps open their season with a home game against Waterford United – and McCann believes they must make their home form count with three of the opening four games at Finn Park.
He said: “We have three games at home early in the season but it’s no good unless we make it count. It’s a good opportunity for us so we have to make it count.”