Harps at full strength as Limerick visit

Finn Harps manager Peter Hutton is hoping to have a full squad to choose from for the first time this season when they welcome Limerick FC to Finn Park tomorrow night (k.o. 7.45pm)

There is a slight concern over new recruit Gary Curran, who was forced the hobble off during his debut last week against Mervue United after only 56 minutes following an ankle knock. However, the former Galway United midfielder is expected to recover in time for tomorrow’s game.

Harps’ ‘A’ championship team enjoyed a fine 4-1 win against Sligo Rovers on Tuesday night at Finn Park with Tommy Bonner, who had been suffering a rib injury, coming through unscathed as did hamstring doubt Stephen O’Donnell.

Ciaran Coll also played and is available again having missed last week’s 2-0 win through suspension, as did Gareth Harkin, who also returns.

The only absentees are long-term injury victims, Packie Mailey, who broke a bone in his foot and visited a specialist on Tuesday, and Conor O’Grady, who underwent ankle surgery and has begun rehabilitation.

Manager Peter Hutton hopes to have the former Sligo Rovers skipper available before the season’s conclusion. Aaron McElwee will be with the club until late August before making his way to north America to complete a soccer scholarship.

“We said last week we had plenty of options and thankfully that’s the case again this week,” explained Hutton. “We’ll ‘play it by ear’ with Gary and Tommy but hopefully we will have a decent size of a panel to choose from ahead of the game against Limerick.”

New signing Kevin Devaney was on the mark in that win over Mervue last weekend while Blaine Curtis scribbled his name onto the scoresheet for the third time in two games, following his brace against Wexford Youths.

“Last week probably wasn’t one for the purists,” Hutton added. “But we had to dig deep and show discipline. Mervue are a decent side, one that is well organised and like to play on the break. We discovered that to our cost down there and took that on board. It wasn’t the most fluid but we delighted to take the chances when they came our way.

“It was pleasing to get another clean sheet on a night when it was always going to be awkward as we had so many new faces.

“That didn’t help in regards the overall performance, when people are trying to learn off their new partners in the various parts of the field. But that’s what we are trying to do, learn between now and the end of the season.”

Limerick will have new signings Denis Behan, Joe Gamble, Rory Gaffney and Shaun Kelly from Killybegs on board, although former Harps striker Chris Breen is out with a shoulder injury.