THE World Cup may be in full swing and occupying the minds of football supporters across the country but Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan admits that he’s not too bothered with events in Russia.
With the summer transfer window opening this Sunday, July 1, the Harps boss is instead content to spend every waking hour trying to entice new players to Finn Park.
Indeed, the St Eunan’s College teacher was out of the country when he spoke to the Donegal News on Tuesday.
“I’m here in Edinburgh to watch a match tonight. I’ve probably only a five per cent chance of bringing in the lad that I’m here to watch but I suppose it’s better than the chance I would have if I wasn’t here,” he sighed.
Harps are looking to add a defender, midfielder and striker to their squad ahead of the remaining games of the season.
While Horgan remains ‘quietly confident’ that he has already convinced one new face into the Harps dressing room next week he’s not about to name names.
“It’s savage hard work. We probably need two – if not three – players but with international clearance and one thing and another there’s no point in me giving you any names just yet.
“The league we’re in, our geographical location and, most importantly, our financial situation doesn’t make the job of attracting new players to the club easy but sure I’ll keep battling away,” he said.
Next up for Finn Harps is a meeting with Cabinteely in Stradbrook this evening, Friday, kick off 7.45pm.
“They’ve a great home record. They’ve beaten all the top teams – UCD, Shels, Longford and Drogheda – up there and it will be a big ask,” he said.
Cabinteely went into the mid-season break two weeks ago on the back of a scoreless draw away to Shels while Harps lost 3-1 at home to UCD.
“The break probably came at a good time for us to be honest. We played quite well against UCD but yet came away from the game with nothing. That hurt and it will be difficult to try and lift the lads to go again – starting against Cabinteely at the weekend,” he said.
“We’re now ten points behind UCD but that defeat still wrangles with me if I’m honest. In the first half we probably played as well as we have all season and then we go and give away two poor goals. I felt that we got the match-ups right against UCD but when things aren’t going your way..” he sighed.
That defeat has left Harps struggling to stay in contention for promotion come the end of the season, although the third and fourth placed teams do play one another with the winner progressing a play-off with the runners-up.
“I would take fourth place right here and now. We’re still an awful lot of work to do between now and the end of the season though,” he said.
Harps go into tonight’s game without the O’Connor brothers, Michael and Ciaran, who are both suspended as is Tommy McBride who, like Ciaran O’Connor, was sent off last time out.
The two-week break has been more favourable however to Lee Toland and Paddy McCourt.
“The break was good for Lee. He’s back training with the group and while Friday may be a little too soon for him it’s a positive for us while it has also allowed Paddy (McCourt) a little bit of time to get over a few niggles that he’s been carrying,” Horgan said.
“It’s hard to know how we’re fixed for the weekend. When we were down bodies we managed to pick up a few great results and then with almost a full squad we lost,” he added.
There are no easy games in the League of Ireland First Division as Harps are fully aware after needing a late goal to defeat Cabinteely at home in their last meeting.
“We struggled to get over the line that night but they’re a real handful at home and we’ll need to be at our very best this weekend if we are to come away with any points,” he said.
Meanwhile, the group stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup concluded yesterday, Thursday, with the opening Second Round games getting underway in Sochi and Kazan tomorrow, Saturday.
“I don’t think any of them bucks are going to sign for Finn Harps on July 1 so I’ll have to concentrate my efforts elsewhere,” he said.
Posted: 9:59 am June 29, 2018