Harps to start league campaign on Friday.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

WEATHER permitting, Finn Harps aim to start their 2018 SSE Airtricity First Division campaign this coming Friday night (8pm) at Finn Park, Ballybofey, where they entertain their closest neighbours in this league at 116km away, Longford Town.

Last Friday's scheduled opening match away to Drogheda United match was postponed after the referee, John McLaughlin, judged the lighting to be unsatisf actory.

Obviously this was very disappointing for team manager, Ollie Horgan, the Harps squad and the supporters who had made the journey to the Co. Louth venue.

A new date, for the fixture, Monday, March 26 at 7.45pm, was announced earlier this week.

Horgan, always one of the most entertaining personalities in the League of Ireland, lived up to expectations in his interview with Soccer Republic on RTE on Monday night after the postponed game.

Both he and the Drogheda manager, Tim Clancy, wanted the game to go ahead, but were overruled. When asked what Harps would do now, Horgan replied: "We 're thinking of going to Mother Hughes's for a pint anyway ...that might be the only way to solve this problem."

This year's Harps squad contains a plethora of attacking talent, from the inimitable Paddy McCourt and League of Ireland legend, John O'Flynn, to last year's top scorer, Ciaran O'Connor and his highly rated brother, Michael, not to mention the precocious BJ Banda, Jesse Devers and Mark Timlin, the Harps attack has been described in one preview of the division as "absolutely lethal".

And there is plenty of youngsters vying to step up and make their mark as well. The excitement among the huge travelling support in Drogheda before the postponed game was palpable. It is hoped the same willapply for the home game this Friday.

The First Division looks incredibly competitive this year but Harps will be looking to gel quickly and ensure an immediate return to top flight football.

This Friday's game begins a big week of home games as Horgan's side host the Mayo League in the EA Sports Cup at Finn Park on Monday night (7.45pm) and then Shelbourne in Ballybofey on Friday, March 9 (kick-off 8pm).


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