I think it would be fair to suggest that last week was overall a good one for Finn Harps on the pitch but a disappointing one off it. Wins over St. Pat’s and Limerick lifted Ollie Horgan’s team off the bottom of the table and up to 8th place but those successes were for me anyway somewhat tempered by Mickey Funston’s announcement that this week’s match in Sligo will be his last for the club that he has served so well for so long.
Apart from that short spell at Dungannon Swifts, Funston has been a outstanding player for Harps since 2004. His level of consistently has been a stand-out feature of his career, as has his commitment to the team cause when starting or coming off the bench. Given the size of the Harps squad and the lack of experience which has been evident on the bench this season Mickey’s decision to leave is certainly a blow.
However it is also completely understandable that family and work must be given priority and juggling both of those to try and fit in senior football sometimes just doesn’t work-out. I’m sure that not being a regular starter also had an influence on Mickey’s decision and again that’s easy to understand, but he will be missed as his performances when starting against St.Pat’s showed last week and his introduction against Derry City at Maginn Park a few weeks ago clearly showed.
I pretty sure we will be seeing more of Mickey Funston on soccer pitches around Donegal for a few years to come and that’s good news for whichever team convinces him that they are his next best option, in the meantime well done Mickey on a outstanding career to date.
Those wins over Pat’s and Limerick were badly needed and credit to Harps for securing them in the way that they did. Two outstanding first-half displays did the trick and something similar will do nicely in Sligo on Friday night. A win would be great of course, but I wouldn’t refuse a draw and then another home victory over Shamrock Rovers in two weeks.
We’re at the half-way stage of the league season now, this week games will be the 17th series of 33, and Harps have four teams below them. However only six points separate the bottom seven teams so winning your games against the other teams in that group will be key to surviving in the Premier League. After looking like they could be cast adrift, Harps have shown they are up for the battle and a win in Sligo will be a super next best step.
WENGER STAYING MAY NOT BE GOOD FOR ARSENAL:
At the time of writing it was looking likely that Arséne Wenger would be staying at Arsenal for at least another two years. During the 21 years he has been in charge the Gunners have had their fair share of success but despite winning the FA Cup last Saturday it’s been another tough year for the Manager and his players, with failure to make the Champions League for next season a huge blow. As a spurs fan I don t worry too much about the woes of our North London rivals, we have been in their shadow for long enough, but I do like Wenger and would rather see him go before he is kicked out. During his time at Arsenal other Premier League teams like Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool have all won European football club’s highest honour and that may be Wenger’s biggest regret when he finally decides it time to go.
ULSTER FOOTBALL BEGINNING TO LOOK LIKE THE OTHERS :
Kevin Cassidy summed it up very well when talking to Marty Morrissey on RTE on Sunday night, Ulster football is on the slide downwards and beginning to look a bit like the other Provinces with the stronger and the weak weaker still.
Kevin was talking after watching Tyrone hammer Derry by 11 points in Celtic Park, just as Monaghan hands hammered Fermanagh by 9 points and Donegal had hammered Antrim by 16 points in the opening three games of the Championship. In recent times Dublin, Kerry and Mayo have dominated their respective Provinces while Donegal and Monaghan have been the kingpins in Ulster until Tyrone’s breakthrough last year.
Donegal and Tyrone will now lock horns in another arm wrestle on Sunday 18th June (Rally Weekend), probably in Clones for a place in the Final. Monaghan meet Cavan and if they win that the winners of Armagh and Down in the other semi-final. The last time any other team besides the big three was in a final was Down in 2012, the last time two teams outside the big three contested a Final was Armagh v Fermanagh in 2008 and before that it was Armagh v Derry in 2000. It’s looks like Kevin Cassidy may be right!
And finally it was great to see Philip Deignan’s excellent performance in the ultra tough Giro D’Italia and also to see Jason Quigley at home from the States with his NABF Championship belt this week. What talent we have in our county of Donegal.Tags: