The Finn Harps U17s are just 90 minutes away from a place in the Mark Farren Cup Final and that objective will be achieved if Declan Boyle’s side can overcome Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
The Harps 17s have surprised many this season. Despite the absence of the majority of last year’s high performing and much admired squad, most of whom have progressed to and are blazing a trail with Harps u19s, this year’s younger group have remained competitive in the league and tomorrow will look to reach the final of the prestigious cup competition dedicated to the late Mark Farren.
Their opponents Bray Wanderers, who boast an impressive home record, sitting third in the Southern Division of the National League and will provide tough opposition for the visitors, many of whom have graduated from Kevin McHughs 2017 U15 team, which reached the last four following an impressive season of their own. Wanderers youth system is highly regarded and is built in partnership with St. Joseph’s Boys who have a huge reputation as one of the famous schoolboy nursery clubs in the Dublin area.
Boyle is delighted his players have reached this stage “We won two tough derby games against Sligo and Derry and subsequently a hard match away to Drogheda to get here so it’s great to be in a national semi-final. We have scored ten goals in those games, two of which were away fixtures, so we have shown we carry a threat of our own. From what I gather Bray are a physically impressive side who are well organized and have beaten Bohemians and UCD on the way to the final so we are looking forward to a good match."
The Harps manager is also aware of the long term benefits for members of his squad. “Most of the team will be underage next year so the valuable experience of playing in a semi-final against tough opposition will serve us well for the rest of this season and into next year.”