Soccer – Airtricity League of Ireland First Division
By Liam Porter
With interviews for the manager’s job at Finn Harps due to begin next week the Donegal News has learned that ten of the eleven candidates looking to succeed Peter Hutton as Harps boss are based in Ireland.
Since Hutton’s departure speculation has been rife about possible replacements with the latest names being mentioned this week are those of former Dublin City and Dundalk manager John Gill and former Derry City boss Declan Devine who parted company with the Brandywell club at the weekend.
Rumours had been circulating for weeks towards the end of last season that Devine would not be at the helm in Derry for their next campaign and with that in mind it is possible that he submitted an application for the Harps job.
Harps secretary John Campbell confirmed at the weekend that some of the applicants had affiliations with other clubs and as such Finn Harps would treat all applications with the utmost of confidentiality.
“Some applicants may have chosen to go public but from our point of view we have assured applicants that no details would be released,” he said.
The other new name to the melting pot this week is John Gill is currently managing Leinster Senior League outfit Malahide United. Gill holds a UEFA Pro Coaching licence has led both Dublin City and Dundalk to the First Division Title in the past and is.
Both Gill and Devine are however just the latest in a string of names associated with the vacancy, most of which remain as yet little more than speculation.
One man to confirm however that he has applied for the job is former West Ham United and Liverpool defender Julian Dicks who has previously managed English non-league sides Wivenhoe Town and Grays Athletic.
Dicks is previously is understood to have previously applied for the manager’s job at Dundalk and would appear now to be the only applicant from outside Ireland to be in the running.
Former Galway United and Sligo boss Don O’Riordan a coach in China had confirmed his interest and said he’d love to get the opportunity to manage Harps, but with only one application understood to have been received from outside Ireland it remains to be seen if he has applied using an Irish address.
Former Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels and former Sligo Rovers manager Willie McStay had also been names mentioned over the past few weeks but neither is believed to have applied for the job.
Instead, ten of the eleven applicants who will begin the two-tier interview process this week are based in Ireland (North and South).
Harps are understood to have sought outside assistance for the initial interview stage that will whittle down the applicants to a short-list for second interview.
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