Academy Updates

WU19 Squad

Finn Harps Women’s U19 Completed Phase 1 In the National League with An Impressive 3rd Place Finish

When the fixtures for this year’s Phase 1 of the League came out, the management team of Paddy McDaid and Dessie McGlinchey knew it was the so-called group of death.  Shelbourne FC, Bohemian FC, Peamount United and Dundalk FC.  Easy!!  It would be Harps second season in the National League.  According to McDaid the first year was tough at times but it was a great learning experience for the players.  Retaining 15 players from their U17 and U19 teams would be key for the season ahead and adding 4 new players was massive too.  The management team were satisfied to get these teams as it meant every game would be a huge challenge.

The pre-season went very well.  A difficult friendly, away to Cliftonville’s Senior team, would test their character just before their first competitive game.  Away to Peamount on Matchday 1 was tough and the girls found themselves one nil down early in the game.  Two late goals from debutant Lorinne Greene and a winner from Ella McHugh (Daughter of Harps legend Kevin McHugh), who had played in the U17’s the previous year.

This was followed by an impressive 3-2 win against Dundalk FC the following week.  Orlaith Doherty scored a cracker to put Harps 1 nil up but the visitors struck twice before halftime to take the lead.  It was no surprise that the girls would respond in the 2nd half with Ella McHugh equalising and Orlaith Doherty netting the winner. Away to Bohemian’s on St.Patrick’s Day would bring the first defeat but Doherty scored a penalty to continue her fine start to the season.  Home to Shelbourne FC was the next challenge and a 97th minute rocket from Olivia Maxwell would secure a point for Harps.

Another comeback against Peamount United was next with an Aislinn Coll free-kick and a great finish from Roisin Lynch securing the 2-1 win.  Next up was away to Dundalk FC with Maryanne Ward scoring a belter to give Harps an early lead.  1-1 it ended but a valuable point on the road.  Harps would finish with two tough games against Bohemians and Shelbourne.  Difficult at the best of times against these top teams and with a few players injured and players unavailable due to exams, Harps lost both games.

Overall it was a great effort from the team to finish with 11 points in third place and only 3 points behind 2nd place Bohemians FC. The team will now concentrate on the Cup for a few weeks before they enter Phase 2 of the League where they will compete in the Northern Section.  This will be just as difficult as Phase 1 according to McDaid but again he believes the players will develop more by playing against these top teams.

Goalkeepers Claire Diver and Leah McLoughlin have shared the duties in nets and have performed well.  Last year’s Player of the Year and Players Player of the Year Darcey Kelly has been excellent yet again and has formed a great partnership with joint captain Erika Gallagher.  Emily Irwin, Lorinne Greene, Freya Canning, Bridin Hynes and Fiona Doherty have shared the other defensive duties but Canning and Hynes were unfortunate with injuries in Phase 1 but are back training.   Eva Blaney has returned to action after suffering an ACL injury last year and has been excellent in midfield beside young Heidi Gill who has had a superb season to date.  Newcomer Caitlin Doherty has demonstrated great technique and skill in her first season in the National League.

Codie Walsh and Aislinn Coll have provided a lot of experience to the squad with some notable performances.  Maryanne Ward has terrorised defences with her power and skill up the wing, while Olivia Maxwell and Roisin Lynch have contributed with important goals and continue to develop.  Ella McHugh has had a great Phase 1 and striker Orlaith Doherty was scoring for fun but was injured for the last 4 games but thankfully is back in full training with the squad.

So, onwards and upwards for the Finn Harps Women’s U19 team.

Finn Harps WU17 Squad
Finn Harps WU17 Squad

Harps WU17s Learning Fast In Strong Group

Finn Harps WU17 squad can take many valuable learning experiences from the season to date. Our WU17 squad were placed in a strong group containing heavyweights Bohemians, Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers as well as strong teams from Drogheda, Dundalk and Longford.

The season started brilliantly for this group with a 4-nil victory in the first league game versus Dundalk, where captain Caitlin Doherty made history grabbing the first Hattrick in Finn Harps Women’s Academy history.

Many notable team and individual performances along the way showed the resilience and work rate of this group including excellent performances versus Shelbourne away and Shamrock Rovers at home with Lauren McArdle, Sophie Canning and Chloe Deeney among others earning praise. These tough experiences will set this young team up brilliantly for the 2nd half of the season.

The best performance of the season to date came in a nil nil draw against top of the table Bohemians (away). A heroic performance from the team, led by Sophie Doherty, Emma Wallace, Alanna Graham and Scarlett Keyes showed this group of players can compete with the top sides in the country.

Harps will look forward to the 2nd half of the season as they will welcome back Niamh Ryan, Alannah Curran, Fia Coyle and Kaylagh Sweeney who all missed periods of the season so far.

Harps return to action on 22nd June with games away to Shamrock Rovers and home to Longford on June 29th which will complete phase 1 of the season before moving into phase 2 from July onwards.

Here, Harps aims will be to compete strongly on each game and see further development of their players.

Harps MU14s Make Brighton Trip

Our MU14s took advantage of a weekend off by travelling to Brighton for a 3 day tour. A huge thanks to Leroy McCourt (Brighton scout) for setting this up and to Chris Crowe (Brighton Academy) for organising everything and for making players, staff and parents feel so welcome.

Our MU14s played two games while they were there, coming out on top against both Brighton and Forest Green. A really enjoyable experience for our MU14s which not doubt will have created long lasting memories.

Harps 2012s

Harps 2012s Ramping Up Preparations for Summer Campaign

Our 2012 development squad faced Ballinamallard United on Sunday as they build up to the summer competitions. It was a closely fought game with nothing to separate the sides at the final whistle, ending 0-0. Special mention to Ciaran O’Connor who earned the POTM in midfield for Harps.

Harps 2011s

Harps 2011s Draw With Glentoran

Our 2011 development squad were at Finn Park on May 18th to take on Glentoran in a friendly, as they gear up for a busy summer of tournament football.

It proved to be an exciting game with some super football on show, with 6 goals shared between the 2 sides, ending in a 3-3 draw.