Rogers sure Harps will hit high notes

Finn Harps boss Dave Rogers
Finn Harps boss Dave Rogers Finn Harps boss Dave Rogers

FINN Harps boss Dave Rogers has hailed his new arrivals and is upbeat about the remainder of the season.

Having been hugely active since the transfer window opened, Rogers gave debuts to no less than five players –  Scott Wara, Daniel Stokoe, Max Hutchison, Patrick Ferry and Matty Makinson – in Friday’s scoreless draw at home to Bray Wanderers.

And two other recently signed players who have both previously played with the club – Stephen Doherty and BJ Banda – were also given game time, with the latter coming on as a substitute.

“It was definitely our best performance here this season in a game that we felt we should have won,” Rogers commented.

“It’s another point on the board, a clean sheet and a point in the right direction, and we are proud of the boys.”

He stressed that the “new lads have been brilliant” and they are all very committed to the club.

Rogers added: “Now we have a real presence in the side that was missing, and we know that, and we have a great team spirit.”

Some of the new players have been training with the club over a number of weeks, and he believes they have fitted in very well and know the style of play he is trying to deploy.

“I now have a squad that are fighting to wear the jersey. They know that if they don’t work hard and if they don’t give me maximum effort, they do not play,” he continued.

Harps have signed nine players since the transfer window opened, and he conceded that as a result of bringing in so many new faces “some players will have to move on.”

This will mean some face-to-face talks but “that is the nature of the beast” and “players will come and go.”

Overall, he was well pleased with his side’s display against Bray – the only negative being that they did not get a winner.

Harps remain ninth in the SSE Airtricity League First Division and have still won just once at home this season; by contrast they have chalked up four away wins.

While it may have ended scoreless, the Bray game was largely entertaining and both sides had a number of chances to break the deadlock.

Harps netminder Tim Heimer and his counterpart Stephen McGuinness were both forced into making a couple of top drawer saves.

The introduction of striker Banda – who back in 2015 scored the winner in a play-off against Limerick to get Harps promoted – certainly upped the decibel levels at the Ballybofey venue.

Now 25, the South African-born Banda had a couple of opportunities to score and soon had the Finn Park faithful chanting his name again.

The hope is that he can be a key figure in helping goal-shy Harps to get the wins that they need to still mount a challenge for a play-off spot.

Bray, who have been inconsistent of late, remain fifth in the table and in the lowest of the play-off positions.