'I just wanted to get out': Nathan Boyle delighted to finish season on a high

Finn Harps striker, Nathan Boyle celebrates scoring the club's second goal in the 2-0 play-off win over Limerick at Markets Field.
Finn Harps striker, Nathan Boyle celebrates scoring the club's second goal in the 2-0 play-off win over Limerick at Markets Field.

NATHAN Boyle insists he’s in no rush to make a decision on his future after playing a key role in Finn Harps’ promotion to the Premier Division at the end of a year which began with so much frustration at Derry City.

Having began the 2018 season in the top flight with Derry City, the striker struggled to impose himself in Kenny Shiels’ plans after sustaining an injury at the start of the campaign.

He admits he had no choice but to leave Brandywell in the July Transfer Window and ‘just wanted to get out’ after limited game-time with the Candy Stripes.

Boyle claims he had no intention of finding another club but when Harps boss, Ollie Horgan rang him to offer him a deal until the end of the season, he felt it was the right choice to return to the scene where he won promotion back in 2015.

“It was the only move at the time,” he explained. “When I left Derry I had no intentions to go to another club, I just wanted to get out. It didn’t matter if I went to another club or not.

“And then Ollie rang and we agreed I would go there until the end of the season and try get my confidence back and try help them out and score a few goals.“Thankfully it worked out well.

"They’re a great bunch of lads. I scored seven and got a couple of assists so I’m delighted with how the latter part of the season turned out.

“The confidence is definitely back. I just wanted to play. It got to the stage I didn’t care where I played. I had no chance playing there (at Derry) so I took a month and a half off and then Ollie rang me.

“I got my fitness and confidence back and started playing and thankfully I started hitting the net again.”

In a repeat of that 2015 promotion/relegation encounter against Limerick, Harps once again emerged victorious as they deservedly returned to the top flight after a single season in the First Division.

BJ Banda earned the plaudits on that occasion with the winning goal but in Friday night’s second leg at the Markets Field, it was Boyle and another ex-Derry City man, Mark Timlin, who hit the headlines as Harps sealed promotion with a 3-0 aggregate win.

Boyle, who also netted the vital goal in the 3-1 First Division play-off win over Drogheda United, scored 10 minutes from time against Limerick to rubber stamp the victory and he was ‘over the moon’ to play his part.

“It was a great win,” said the striker. “We had been on a great run since June and haven’t lost a game, bar Dundalk in the cup, and only conceded seven goals in that time.

“So it was a great run and we were full of confidence going into the play-off, even though Ollie wouldn’t let our standards slip. I’m delighted to see the club go up.”

Friday’s game marked former Derry City and Celtic star, Paddy McCourt’s final match of a memorable career and Boyle said he was privileged to play alongside him.

“It was disappointing for Paddy to come off injured. He’s been like a Rolls Royce. He didn’t have the legs anymore to get around the pitch but he could still find that pass and he was great with the young lads around the changing rooms giving them confidence and talking with them. You could rely on him for a bit of spark or a bit of flair when you needed it.”

Boyle has planned a three weeks holiday in Australia next month and so he’s not overly concerned about his next move.

“I haven’t thought about it at all. There’s a lot of people asking me but it hasn’t crossed my mind. I’m working right up until December then I’m taking a three and a half week holiday and will make my mind up in the New Years.

“I’m just delighted with the way the year ended and we’ll see what the next couple of months bring. I’d like to think I’ve lots more to offer but time will tell.”