First
Date: 8 p.m. March 6, 2015
Venue: Tolka Park
Att: 728


League Preview: Shelbourne -v- Finn Harps

Thu, Mar 05 2015

 

SHELBOURNE

It’s been an off-season of change at Tolka Park. Kevin Doherty took the reigns at Tolka Park back in December after Johnny McDonnell departed The Reds to join Drogheda United.

 

There has also been a number of changes in the playing staff. Fourteen of last season’s players have signed up for 2015, while eight of last season’s team have departed Tolka Park.

 

Amongst Doherty’s signings are experienced heads such as Philly Hughes and Daire Doyle, but Doherty has also used the off-season to bring in some young, energetic players, such as Colm Crowe and Craig Walsh. Doherty believes that this balance will prove a benefit to all at the club.

 

"I believe that I have assembled a decent enough squad within the constraints of the budget. There is a number of experienced heads, the likes of Philly [Hughes] and Daire Doyle that I have brought into the squad that will help the young lads that are coming through,” Doherty told shelbournefc.ie.

 

“We have a good blend of youth and experience and I'll be looking to play an attractive brand of football that, hopefully, conditions allow,” he added.

 

Shels didn’t have it easy against Ollie Horgan’s Finn Harps last season. The Reds won just once in the four league ties against the Ballyboffey side. Doherty is expecting  another difficult challenge from Harps this Friday.

 

“They caused us a lot of trouble last year, they beat us at Finn Park and we only got a draw in the other one and only barely scraped through down in Tolka, so I know it'll be a tough game, like [with] most teams in the league,” Doherty told extratime.ie. at last week’s SSE Airtrcity League launch.

 

“I think Finn Harps will be a massive test. It's at home and you'd always like to start the season with a home game, but I think it'll be a big test for us alright,” the Shels boss furthered.

 

The Reds will be without Ryan Robinson who’s suspended and Dylan McGlade will miss out through injury, while Evan Osam, who has joined on loan from Shamrock Rovers, is a doubt and will be assessed closer to kick-off time.

 

FINN HARPS

Finn Harps will be looking to start their 2015 First Division in strong fashion, as they travel to Tolka Park on Friday night. Ollie Horgan’s side will be looking to improve on last season’s 5th placed finish, despite this season’s First Division being arguably more competitive.

 

Despite his side’s recent record against Shelbourne, Harps boss Horgan knows that, especially with a couple of key players suspended, Friday night’s tie against promotion pushers Shelbourne will be a real test for his side.

 

“Maybe we're better going to Shelbourne that way than even at full strength because we mightn't get anything out of Tolka,” Horgan told extratime.ie at last week’s SSE Airtricity League launch.

 

“Shelbourne always play good football and have added to their squad since last year with the addition of experienced players in Philip Hughes, Daire Doyle and Craig Walsh as well as very talented younger players in Evan Osam and Sean Heaney.

 

“Go into the Lions’ Den if you want and if we don't get something out of it, so be it, we have another 27 games to go after it again.” 

 

Horgan was content with his side’s pre-season despite disruptions due to poor weather conditions.

 

“We lost a session at the start due to snow and probably the only disappointment was the lack of time training and playing on grass pitches due to weather and also only getting to play a half in Derry at the weekend due to rain,” Horgan told finnharps.com.

 

Horgan and Coach Michael McGlynn will be forced to watch from the stands on Friday night as both are serving the remainder of suspensions that began in 2014.

 

Packie Mailey will miss Friday’s trip to Tolka Park through injury, while Ciaran Coll and Gareth Harkin are out through suspension.

 

Referee: John McLoughlin.
 

 

MATCH STATS

Shelbourne will be looking to keep up their positive home form in 2015. They lost just once at Tolka Park in the league last season.

 

Finn Harps last beat Shelbourne in the league at Tolka Park back in 2007.

 

Shels beat Finn Harps just once in four games last season. Harps also won a game, while the other two fixtures finished in draws.

 

 

BETTING

Shelbourne 8/12; Draw 12/5; Finn Harps 7/2.

 

PREDICTION

Shelbourne  2-1 Finn Harps

 

 

Shelbourne

Injured: Dylan McGlade.
Doubtful: Evan Osam.
Suspended: Ryan Robinson.

 

Finn Harps

Injured: Packie Mailey.
Doubtful: None.
Suspended: Ollie Horgan, Michael McGlynn, Ciaran Coll, Gareth Harkin.

 

 


Shelbourne
Greg Murray
Goalkeeper
Evan Osam
Defender
Adam O'Connor
68'
68Subbed Off: 68'
Defender
Sean Heaney
Defender
Paul Andrews
76'
76Subbed Off: 76'
Defender
Craig Walsh
Midfielder
Jordan Keegan
Midfielder
Conor Earley
Midfielder
Colm Crowe
Midfielder
Gareth Coughlan
90Booked: 90'
Midfielder
Philip Hughes
90Booked: 90'
Forward

Substitutes
Mark Sandford
Forward
Dave Ryan
Goalkeeper
Alan O'Sullivan
Forward
Alan Kehoe
86'
86Subbed On: 86'
Defender
Daire Doyle
68'
68Subbed On: 68'
Midfield
Jake Donnelly
Midfield
Simon Dixon
76'
76Subbed On: 76'
86'
86Subbed Off: 86'
Defender
Finn Harps
Ciaran Gallagher
Goalkeeper
Damien McNulty
Defender
Thomas McMonagle
Defender
Matthew Crossan
Defender 68'
68Subbed Off: 68'
Keith Cowan
Defender
43Booked: 43'
Josh Mailey
Midfielder
Michael Funston
Midfielder
Raymond Foy
Midfielder
Regan Donelon
Midfielder 76'
76Subbed Off: 76'
Tony McNamee
Forward 61'
61Subbed Off: 61'
Ruairi Keating
Forward

Substitutes
Wilfried Tagbo
Forward
68Subbed On: 68'
68'
Gerard O'Callaghan
Midfield
76Subbed On: 76'
76'
Kevin McHugh
Forward
Brian McGroary
Midfield
61Subbed On: 61'
61'
Tommy Lee McCarron
Goalkeeper
Garbhan Friel
Forward
Darragh Black
Forward