Big weekend ahead for Harps underage sides

McHugh to make changes for Oriel Park

With some injury concerns and one eye on the National League semi-finals, the Finn Harps U13 manager Kevin McHugh is expected to make some personnel changes for this afternoon’ final group game against Dundalk at Oriel Park (kick-off 1.00). The Harps U13s have already qualified for the last four of the national competition with the semi-final scheduled for Saturday the 28th of September.

“This is our final game of the U13 series and we are looking for more of the same in terms of the performance levels.

We have quite a few carrying niggling injuries. So we will rest those boys in order to put our best foot forward in the semi-finals in two weeks time” McHugh said.

Harps U15s host Dundalk in Ballyare

This afternoon the Finn Harps U15s host Dundalk in Ballyare

(kick-off 2pm).  Paul McBride’s youngsters have had a difficult number of weeks on the results front. Two defeats and a draw in their last three matches have Harps sitting at the foot of the table with the onerous task of facing the league leaders today. Head coach, McBride, although disappointed with the recent run, feels the boys have trained well and are looking forward to the game.

“As a group, we’re disappointed with the recent run. We were in with a shout of getting full points against Derry and Sligo and we let both matches get away from us. We went to Richmond Park to face Pats at the end of a busy week and early goals completely destroyed us. It wasn’t a nice experience, but as a whole, I think the group saw the levels that we need to reach, so at least we took that positive from Richmond.”

This afternoon McBride, will be without the ever present Noah Barrett who has played a part in every match this season. Big Jamie O’Donnell is doubtful due to an ankle issue. However, Conor Campbell returned to training during the week and will possibly see some game time, which is a boost to the squad.

Longford Town play Harps U19s at Finn Park

The Finn Harps U19s will be hoping to make home advantage pay against Longford Town this afternoon in Ballybofey (kick-off 2.00) in the Northern Elite Section of the National League

Harps U17s in Longford tomorrow

The Finn Harps U17's are back in action tomorrow in an away game against Longford Longford Town at the City Calling Stadium (kick-off 2.00pm). Declan Boyle’s side is currently third in the table and two points behind Shelbourne FC with a game less played. St Pat's and Athlone are one point behind Harps with the same games played. Boyle acknowledges that qualification for the knockout stages of the competition could go right down to the wire.

“It is very tight and it will go down to the very last match of the season to decide who will secure the top four places. As a result of this, every game is a cup final. We are well aware of the importance of this game and the remaining fixtures. We need to win all of our last three games starting with Longford tomorrow. The team have been playing well up to now and we will be expecting another good performance from the lads against Longford to get three big points. We played them at Finn Park and won the game. But, Longford at home are a different  team and will make it very difficult for us and we will need to be at out best and play well on the day” Boyle said.

The Harps U17 boss has a few injuries at the moment. Jay Doherty is out with a fracture leg, Michael Doran is struggling with a hip injury. Finnan O’Donnell is back training but not available for tomorrow’s game. Chris Diver has returned and is available for selection.

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