BARRY MOLLOY looks set to join the legion of ex-Derry City players at Finn Harps and could make his debut on the opening day of the Airtricity Premier Division against his former club at Finn Park this Friday night.
The former Derry City skipper has surprisingly been coaxed out of retirement by Harps boss, Ollie Horgan just SIX weeks after announcing he was hanging up his boots.
The 32 year-old Bishop’s Street man was in Letterkenny last night putting the finishing touches to a one-year deal with the Ballybofey club and his signing will certainly spice up this weekend’s North West derby as Harps begin life back in the top flight for the first time since 2008!
While Molloy has struggled with injuries in recent years , prompting him to call it a day after a short stint with Crusaders last season, sources close to the player said he felt he had made a ‘premature decision to retire’.
And after speaking to several close friends about the approach from Harps, he joined up with Horgan’s squad for training last Thursday night and decided to give his playing career one last chance!
The signing will be viewed as a major coup for Harps who will be delighted to have the experience Molloy brings to the table, particularly with hardened campaigners, Kevin McHugh and Michael Funston ruled out of Friday’s match through suspension.
The capture of Molloy means Harps will line out against Derry with a host of ex-Derry City players, including Sean Houston, Tony McNamee, Thomas McMonagle and Raymond Foy.
But while fitness won’t be a problem for Molloy, his lack of match practise might limit his role on Friday night.
Meanwhile, Harps boss, Ollie Horgan was playing down his side’s chances against Derry, claiming he’s preparing his side for a ‘hugely difficult test’.
“It was tough going this last couple of months trying to get a squad together,” he said. “So the sooner we get started the better.
“The first four games we have we’re playing four full time professional outfits. Of course we’d like to get off to a good start but to be blunt about it, if we can pick up enough points at the start, the middle or the end of the season to stay up then that’s really the important part of it.
“We’ll have difficulties, without a shadow of a doubt, but hopefully we’ll have one or two good days along the way and hopefully enough of those which will see us off the bottom. We would even take the play-off spot at the moment. This time last year no one gave us a chance to go up. So we’re hoping this favourite tag to go straight back down doesn’t materialise.
“It will be a hugely difficult test. It will be a bigger achievement staying up than actually going up but stranger things have happened.”