FORMER Finn Harps captain, Packie Mailey, will return to his former club for the 2014 campaign.
And the 25-year-old, who has been present on the Ballybofey club’s terraces for the past two years, was delighted to re-sign for his former club this week.
“When Ollie (Horgan) rang me I had no hesitation in coming back,” said Mailey.
Having departed Derry in 2011, he was mulling over an offer from Derry City.
“There were certain reasons why I left so I opted to take a break.
Having trained with Derry, Mailey’s move never materialised and then Harps’ director of football at that time, Felix Healy, closed the door on a return to Ballybofey.
The player was contacted by Peter Hutton after Healy had left Harps but at that time the player, a keen Gaelic footballer, was also in the thoughts of Donegal boss, Jim McGuinness.
And the call-up to the County’s Dr. McKenna Cup panel was too good to turn down.
“Peter Hutton asked me back but at the time I felt it wasn’t the right move for me so I took a break. I had no problem with Peter - he’s a professional and a good manager. but I’d decided to take time out of the game for different reasons.
“However, now it’s good to back, I supported Harps from a young age and as a player, there’s nothing better than running out at Finn Park
“A good crowd can create a great atmosphere - you could see that in the first couple of home games last year - and the team really responded. We’d love to get that going this year,” he concluded.
Cockhill Flying Flag in FAI Intermediate Cup
Meanwhile, Cockhill Celtic will fly the Ulster Senior League flag in the FAI Intermediate Cup when they take on St Mochta’s this Sunday at Porterstown Road in Dublin (1:30pm).
Donal O’Brien’s team secured an excellent 2-1 win against Crumlin United in December when Malachy McDermott was on target twice in the replayafter a 0-0 away draw in the Charlie O’Donnell Sports Ground.
McDermott, the Ulster Senior League’s “Player of the Year,” is expected to be back for Sunday’s game after hamstring problems. But Jimmy Bradley, who broke his arm against Crumlin in the first meeting, will miss out.
St. Mochta’s boast former Republic of Ireland international Glen Crowe, who is now 36, leading their front line.
St. Mochta’s are in the third flight of football in Dublin - the Leinster Senior League Senior Division 1A - which is two leagues below Crumlin.
Cockhill defeated an experimental Finn Harps side 2-1 on Saturday last with goals from Aidan O’Donnell and Gerard McLaughlin.
“We need to forget about the Crumlin game because there’s a lot at stake in terms of the club and how we progress,” said O’Brien.