News & Match Preview – v Finn Harps

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Shelbourne v Finn Harps

SSE Airtricity League – Division One

Tolka Park – Friday, March 6th – KO 8.00pm

Shelbourne’s long-awaited first game of the new season in the SSE Airtricity League, Division One, is at home, against Ollie Horgan’s Finn Harps, on Friday night at Tolka Park, with an 8pm kick-off.

New Shelbourne manager, Kevin Doherty (who was assistant to Johnny McDonnell last season) and his assistant John Martin, have had the squad in pre-season training since mid-January, which has given the newcomers to the club (12) a chance to get to know, and blend with, those who helped the club to second place in the table last season (9) and the three players who have come up from this year’s Under 19s (3) [full lists below].

Last season was like a mirror image of the history between Shelbourne and Finn Harps over the years, where the count of wins, losses and draws comes out almost even. Last season’s results started with a home win for Shelbourne (2-0), followed by two 1-1 draws (home and away), with Finn Harps winning the final tie of the year (3-2) at Finn Park, with a goal in the last couple of minutes from Michael Funston. With both clubs having brought in a number of new players, it will be interesting to see if the historical equality of results, between the clubs, continues.

Speaking ahead of the new season, regarding his aims and beliefs for the new season, Shelbourne manager, Kevin Doherty had this to say “I believe that in a league of eight teams, that if you were not aiming to win it, you should not be taking part. However, I think that any three out of four or five teams, could fill the three promotion/play-off positions on offer and if I was offered one of these now, with promotion, I would take it.”

“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. 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.

Going into Friday’s game, Kevin has a full squad to select from, with the exception of Dylan McGlade, who has an ankle injury (picked up while playing for the FAS squad) and Ryan Robinson, suspended having carried over yellow cards from last season. Additionally, Evan Osam’s, availability will be assessed at training on Thursday night, having left pitch during the Rovers game, following a knock to his ankle.

Suspended: Ryan Robinson

Injured: Dylan McGlade

Doubtful: Evan Osam

Goal Scorers (Pre-Season 2015)

Philly Hughes – 1

Alan O’Sullivan – 1

Manuel Rodriguez -1

Ryan Robinson – 1

Mark Sandford – 1

Previous Meetings

Sep 26, 2014 Finn Harps 3-2 Shelbourne (Shels Scorers – Coughlan, Connolly)
Jul 27, 2014 Shelbourne 1-1 Finn Harps (Shels Scorer – Coughlan)
May 23, 2014 Finn Harps 1-1 Shelbourne (Shels Scorer – Desmond)
Apr 04, 2014 Shelbourne 2-0 Finn Harps (Shels Scorers – Coughlan, Quinn)

Pre-Season Games 2015

Feb 27, 2015 Shelbourne 1-2 Shamrock Rovers (Shels Scorer – Hughes [pen])
Feb 22, 2015 Shelbourne 0-1 Newtown United (Leinster SC)
Feb 20, 2015 Shelbourne 0-2 St. Patrick’s Ath
Feb 14, 2015 Bray Wanderers 2-1 Shelbourne (Shels Scorer – Manuel Rodrieguez)
Feb 03, 2015 Shelbourne 2-2 Longford Town (Shels Scorers – O’Sullivan, R.Robinson)
Jan 31, 2015 Sligo Rovers 3-1 Shelbourne (Shels Scorer – Sandford)

Shelbourne 2015 Squad

Brought in

Paul Andrews (Drogheda United), Colm Crowe (UCD), Daire Doyle (Drogheda United), Conor Earley (Greystones AFC), Sean Heaney (Shamrock Rovers – loan), Philip Hughes (Bray Wanderers), Alan Kehoe (Shamrock Rovers), Evan Osam (Shamrock Rovers – loan), Manuel Rodriguez (unattached), David Ryan (Drogheda United), Mark Sandford (Shamrock Rovers), Craig Walsh (Bohemians).

Re-signed

Gareth Coughlan, Simon Dixon, Jake Donnelly, Jordan Keegan, Dylan McGlade, Greg Murray, Alan O’Sullivan, Ryan Robinson, Adam O’Connor,

From U19s

Jack Brady (joining 1st team on completion of U19 season), Darragh Gannon, Aaron Robinson