Finn Harps manager, Ollie Horgan, admitted his players have a huge challenge ahead of them after securing promotion to the Airtricity Premier Division for the first time since 2007.
The Ballybofey club’s fairytale return was completed thanks to 17-year-old B. J. Banda’s glancing header three minutes from the end of the second period of extra-time in Friday’s Promotion/Relegation Play-off against Limerick.
The goal sparked delirious celebrations among the 3,200 strong crowd in Finn Park but once the celebrations subside, Horgan knows the club has a lot of work to do.
“The players deserve credit but they have bigger battles ahead in the Premier Division, playing against serious sides and it’s a huge step-up,” explained the Harps boss. “They’ll have to make a bigger sacrifice if that’s possible, to try and adapt and stay in that division”
“I’d have been proud of the players win, lose or draw. They bought into what we were trying to do. I’ve said it before, there’s nobody here making a penny. They’re here because of pride in the club, pride in themselves and in their ability.
“We have no world beaters but we have men with a huge amount of character that give everything. It showed that hard work can pay off.
“The first goal was crucial. Robbie Williams had a chance when his header was cleared off the line and had that gone in, it would have been a very different type of game. We ran our luck a little. We rode our luck a lot in the Markets Field, but we got away with it.”