Hutton debut delayed as Harps welcome Cork

Three wins from their last four outings in the Airtricity League Division One means Finn Harps have a spring in their step ahead of Saturday’s visit of Cork City to Ballybofey (kick-off 6.00pm).

Despite today’s opening of the July transfer window, the Donegal club will not be permitted to field their new signings as registrations will not be processed in time. This means player-manager Peter Hutton, Stephen O’Donnell, John Paul Gallagher and Sean McCarron will have to wait until next weekend’s trip to Longford Town.

“The FAI have taken a stance on this and no club will be allowed to field new signings this weekend,” Hutton explained. “It’s frustrating of course but it’s the same for everyone and we have to abide by the rules.”

Red-tape also means that Harps will not be allowed to sign former Derry City defender Seamus Sharkey, who played in last week’s 4-2 friendly defeat at the hands of Cliftonville. Sharkey had been playing in Australia since leaving the Brandywell and Fifa rules dictate players cannot play for more than two clubs in one season.

“Seamus was a player that we were interested in signing,” Hutton added. “He is a good, versatile player and a lad who is a good professional. Unfortunately, his spell in Australia means he cannot sign for us as their season is still ongoing. “There is a possibility we may bring in another player or two in July but we will have to see. It’s no secret that money is tight but if we see a player we think will improve the squad then who knows? The flipside of that means we will have to release players to balance things.”

Cork City arrive in the Twin Towns having been defeated for the first time all season last weekend at home to Waterford United. In their previous meeting with Harps at Turner’s Cross in April, Tommy Dunne’s side were 5-0 winners. Harps will be boosted by the return of Paddy McLaughlin and Aaron McElwee, both of whom missed last Saturday’s 4-0 win at Salthill Devon through suspension.

“Cork might be expecting to give us a bit of a backlash after losing last weekend,” Hutton added, “But irrespective of that, we will concentrate on our own game and we have been tougher to score against of late. In last week’s win we got a few goals and that can only breed confidence.”

Foy departs Finn Park

Meanwhile, Harps this week announced that Paddy Foy has left his position as assistant manager and head of youth development with immediate effect.

Foy managed the Under 20 team, the Foyle Cup squad and the ‘A’ side during his time at Finn Park.

“I am going to take a break from the game but at some stage in the future I intend to return to coaching and hopefully that will be with Finn Harps,” claimed Foy.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time working here and I would like to thank the players, the board and everyone at Finn Park for their support during my tenure.”