Meet New Finn Harps Football Social Responsibility Officer Stephen McNutt

Tell us a bit about yourself?

58 years old

Live in Buncrana

Married to Margaret

Kids: Paul, Andrea and Lisa.

German Shepherd Dog: Seve

Worked for FAI for 19 years with roles such as Development Officer, Regional Manager and Lead Tutor of Uefa A and Uefa B courses.

Passion for golf when football allows.

What attracted you to going for the FSR role and what will you look to bring to the role?

The opportunity to combine my coaching duties with the Social Responsibility role and to work full time with the club was too good an opportunity to pass. I have vast experience in these areas during my Development Officer days and working on cross-border programmes such as Gateway Soccer and Football for Peace.

How are you finding it so far?

With just over a week and a half in, I am just getting my feet under the table.

Of course I have met with Ian, our chairman, to identify key areas that he wants to target.

I am also linking in with key Stakeholders in terms of how we can assist each other and grow the programme.

Early days of course but have you plans in place for what you want to achieve in the role?

The funding itself comes from Healthy Ireland with the Core Pillars being identified by them so with the FAI assistance through Derek O’Neill we will be designing the Strategy Plan over the next few weeks that will cover these and the needs of our club. My role will be to assist in making Finn Harps more than just a Football Club. We have a lot of people doing tremendous work already and I will be looking to assist them any way I can.

Tell about your history with Finn Harps?

Earliest memory:

Playing in the FAI National Youth Cup Semi-Final v Athlone1n the 1982/83 season.

Favourite player:

Have a few who I enjoyed playing with but hands down it would be John McElwaine. He played Right Back for most of the time I was at Harps but could play in most positions with his ability. Played against him on many occasions when Fanad were the top intermediate side in the country and always loved it. Had the honour of being selected in the USL team of 30 years along side John in centre midfield.

Favourite moment:

Making my first start for the Harps in our 3-2 victory over Sligo Rovers on March 18th during the 83/84 season.

Favourite thing about match night:

To be fair, in my day it was Sunday afternoon but Friday night’s are special so it has to be the atmosphere during the game. It is fantastic with the fans really supporting what Dave (Manager) and Ian (Chairman) are trying to build.

Favourite away ground:

Dalymount will always hold a special place after we beat Bohs therein god rest Bobby Toland’s 1st game in charge December 1984. Mickey O’Kane got both goals in a 2-1 win but I have to say after Saturday night’s victory, Longford is a nice place to go!

Biggest disappointment:


1st one was losing the League Cup final to Waterford 2-1 in 1985.  Ian Arkwright put us 1 up playing with a strong breeze and I had a great chance to make it 2-0 but took an extra touch.

The rest is history.

2nd one was when I tore my cruciate against Limerick. Had an operation but never fully recovered. Went back to Intermediate. It an example to young players to take nothing for granted and to enjoy every moment playing at this level.

How do you want to see the club develop in the coming years?

The New stadium will be a massive game changer. We need to have our own facilities and I know Ian and the new board will work tirelessly to make this happen and hopefully the government will be of major assistance with this.

We are the Senior club of the county and can be a major asset to the Donegal community both on and off the pitch. On the pitch we are in a great place, with Kevin doing fantastic work as Head of the Academy in terms of leading the development of the young players who will get an opportunity under Dave to progress. Off the pitch, I believe, with my appointment through Healthy Ireland Funding, that the club is making a massive statement that we are there for the Donegal community both on and off the pitch. We just need to continue to push and grow the club to where we believe we should be.

Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?

No, but I have traveled to Cobh with 14 other players and 2 coaches in a Hiace van to play a game. Those were the days!