BY HARRY WALSH
FINN Harps wrap up their pre-season preparations with a game against Dundalk in Oriel Park this evening, kick off 7.45pm.
New Harps boss Ollie Horgan has by his own admission enjoyed an eventful time since taking over the reins at Finn Park in November last and you get the felling he’s had enough of the shadow boxing.
“We’re getting there, albeit slowly. Some of the lads are still a little bit off the pace but, please God, we’ll get there,” he said.
With pre-season plans interrupted by the weather, tonight’s game thankfully is in no doubt as it’s being played on the astroturf facilities at the County Louth club.
“We didn’t to play as many games on grass as I would have liked but I suppose it was the same for every other club too. It also took me maybe a bit longer than I would have liked to get the panel together but that’s all part of the learning experience,” he said.
With the names of twenty players already on the books at Finn Park, Horgan will use tonight’s game to get another look at Graham Fisher, a Canadian who has been on the books of German club Schalke and David Shovlin played a pivotal role for Drumkeen United as they battled for Ulster Senior League honours last season.
“They’ve both been injured and haven’t had too much game time but, hopefully, they’ll be able to show their real worth on Friday night,” he said.
Both players are midfielders and the Harps boss has promised to make a decision on their futres soponer rather than later.
“They’re both lovely lads and I’m not going to keep them hanging about forever. I hope to make a decision on what to do before the league starts next weekend,” he said.
With Waterford United the visitors to Finn Park on the opening day of the season, Harps are sweating on the fitness of Kevin McHugh, Tommy Bonnar and Gareth Harkin – all three struggling wit hamstring injuries.
“Gareth did his hamstring on Tuesday night so he’s definately struggling to be ready for the Waterford game. It’s unlikely any of the three will play against Dundalk and we’ll have to wait and see how they respond to treatment next week,” he said.
While his new role has kept him busy, Horgan is enjoying the experience.
“In hindsight I might have done one or two things differently since I’m taken on the job but sure that’s always the case. You’re learning somehting new each and every day and while it’s ben very bust it keeps me busy,” he said.
Posted: 9:35 am February 28, 2014