Hutton hails new addition at Finn Park

Declan McIntyre being welcomed back to Finn Park by Peter Hutton
Declan McIntyre being welcomed back to Finn Park by Peter Hutton

FINN HARPS boss, Peter Hutton, has welcomed a new addition to his coaching team as former goalkeeper, Declan McIntyre joined his former club ahead of the trip to Longford tomorrow.

Donegal Town native, McIntyre has served at Finn Park as a player, assistant manager and manager of the reserve side in the past having joined the club at the end of the 1976/77 season.

He then joined Sligo Rovers and played in the FAI Cup Final in 1981 for the Bit O’Red before returning to Harps for the start of the 1982/83 season and remained with his home county club until 1987.

McIntyre then moved on to Galway United winning the FAI Cup in 1991 with the “Tribesmen” and returned to Harps again in 1992, remaining until 1994. The former keeper then had spells with Sligo Rovers and Derry City before hanging up his gloves.

He moved into coaching following his retirement as a player and re-joined Harps as assistant manager in August 1997. He also had responsibility for Harps’ reserve team and in 1998/99 his young charges won both the Ulster Senior League and the Ulster/Donegal Youth League.

McIntrye then joined the FAI as a Regional Development Officer before being appointed National Goalkeeping Co-ordinator.

As one of Ireland’s longest serving international coaches, he has been with the Irish U19 side since 1999. He was a member of the coaching staff with the Irish U20 sides that qualified for the FIFA U20 World Cups in Nigeria in 1999 and the UAE in 2003.

He was also a member of staff at several European Championship Finals under Brian Kerr and, more recently, with Paul Doolin in Romania.

Important Development

Finn Harps boss, Hutton said the appointment was another important development at Finn Park:

“Declan has coaching experience at both League of Ireland and international level so I’m delighted we have acquired his services.

“The technical expertise he will bring to the club will be of significant benefit to our goalkeeping training and, indeed, to all areas of our coaching operation.”

Declan is looking forward to the challenge: “I think everyone knows I have a special relationship with the club, so I’m delighted to be coming back to Finn Park to work with Peter and Sean (McGowan).

“There is a lot of very promising players here and I think we can offer them a great platform to fulfil their potential,” he said.

Harps visit Flancare

Meanwhile, Hutton is hoping his players can maintain their unbeaten run when they face Longford Town tomorrow night at Flancare Park. (Kick-off 7.30 p.m.)

“We are on decent run,” continued the Harps boss.

“We are unbeaten in five games and while we know that Longford have a strong squad and are chasing promotion, we don’t fear them and all the boys are looking forward to the game.”

Harps will be without centre-half Mark Scoltock for the trip to Strokestown Road. The former Derry City and Institute centre-back is still receiving treatment on a back injury suffered in the warm-up a number of weeks ago before the Waterford United game.

Gary Merritt is also on the treatment table for a groin injury and is on a race against the clock to be fit while Thomas McBride remains suspended.

However, on the good news front Aaron O’Hagan (above left) is back from suspension and is expected to slot into the centre of midfield as Harps hope to build on last weekend’s deserved 2-0 home win over SD Galway.