When you’re battling for survival in the League of Ireland Premier Division in-form reigning champions Dundalk would not be one’s preferred next opponents. But, it is Stephen Kenny’s star studded squad who Finn Harps face on this Saturday evening at Finn Park (kick-off 5.00).
Manager Ollie Horgan acknowledges that it is a daunting task against opponents who have been the best performing team in the second half of the season. While Horgan is very realistic about his side’s chances of getting anything from the game the focus over the past two weeks has been on trying to just that. “As I’ve said before there is never a good time to play Dundalk. They’re coming here looking for the three points to keep their league title hopes alive. Even a draw won’t be good enough for them so you can see the way that Stephen Kenny will have them motivated for tomorrow evening. It’s very well documented at this stage that our record against them in two years is very poor. We haven’t taken a point or scored a goal against them in five league games” Horgan said.
While Kilian Cantwell returns after suspension and skipper Ciaran Coll is back after illness the Harps boss has significant injuries concerns over Ethan Boyle and Sean Houston while Paddy McCourt has been done very little training over the past couple of months because of a hip problem. Yet again Packie Mailey won’t feature but Horgan remains hopeful that the central defender will still play a part at some stage before the season concludes.
“In the week leading up to the Shamrock Rovers game Ethan [Boyle] and Sean [Houston] pulled up in training with injuries and weren’t able to play in Tallaght. Both of them resumed light training earlier in the week but I will have to make a call on their fitness because we have three more very big games after Dundalk and I don’t want a situation where we would lose the two of them for the rest of the season. To Paddy McCourt’s credit he has made himself available for the games even though he has done little training for weeks because of a hip injury” Horgan concluded.
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Injured: Packie Mailey
Doubtful: Sean Houston, Ethan Boyle, Paddy McCourt.
Finn Harps FC is delighted to be working with the Donegal Sports Partnership on their Soccer for Peace programme, who are sponsoring this game.
Soccer for Peace is a community based sports programme, which is supported by the International Fund for Ireland managed by Donegal Sports Partnership, with the support of Finn Harps FC Schools Programme, Institute Football Club, the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association. The programme will see the development and delivery of coach education and leadership training for young adults across three regions in the North West of Ireland as well as opportunities for children between the ages of 7 and 13 years of age to participate in community, school and cross border soccer based events. The programme will run until 2019.
Further information on the programme will be proved here in the coming weeks.
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