BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THERE have been plenty of comings and goings at Finn Park of late with Harps making three deadline signings and also bidding farewell to three others.
Stephen O’Donnell’s departure is the most high profile of the moves.
The 30-year old Manor man has been blighted by a knee injury for the last 16 months, but had recently made his comeback from a cruciate injury. However, work commitments have forced O’Donnell to call time at Ballybofey.
A soldier, O’Donnell is to begin a six-month course in Dublin soon to become a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), but has not ruled out a move back to Harps in February – and has suggested that he will have talks with Peter Hutton about his plans ahead of the 2014 season.
“It’s something I had planned to do before I picked up my injury but instead of trying to half-do both work and football I want to give the course my best shot as there’s a lot of preparation work to be done before I start,” said O’Donnell, who paid tribute to those at Harps who helped him through his injury hell.
Hugh Carlin, another who has had injury trouble, has also left the club as has young Convoy man Chris McBride.
In a statement posted on their official website, the club said: “Finn Harps would like to place on record their thanks to all three players and wish them well in the future footballing careers.”
Coming into the club are Marty Owens, Shane Buchannan and Matthew Henry.
20-year old right-back Owens is on loan at Harps from Sligo Rovers until the end of the season. A native of Charlestown, Co Mayo he has made just seven first-team appearances for Sligo and will be aiming to impress at Ballybofey between now and the end of the season.
Midfielder Henry hails from Greencastle and joins from Derry City having had previous efforts to sign him for Harps rebuffed. Shane Buchannan rejoins from Fanad United, meanwhile.
They come hot on the heels of the arrivals of Lee Toland, Pat McCann and Shane McGinty. Toland and McCann made their debuts as subs in Friday’s 1-0 defeat in Athlone, while midfield play-maker McGinty rejoins Harps a year on from when he signed for Sligo.