KILLIAN CANTWELL appears just the type of man Ollie Horgan wanted for the trenches.
A native of Kilkenny, centre-back Cantwell has signed for Harps having spent the last two seasons at Galway United.
With Keith Cowan facing the 2017 season on the sidelines, Horgan persuaded the 22-year-old to up sticks and move to Donegal.
Cantwell is prepared to dig deep as Harps bid to survive another season in the top flight.
“When I played with Wexford in the First Division, there was that fight in Finn Harps,” he told Donegal Sport Hub.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 53)
“I see that every time I played them, that fight. I really enjoy doing that and I think I’ll fit into that.
“Fans go home knowing that their team gave it their all is massive. These people pay in to watch the team so they don’t want to pay in to watch pushovers.
“I’ve trained with the lads and they’re pushing themselves on in the gym and in the training.
“I think we can show fans that they’re not paying in to watch average football. We’ll give everything that we can.”
As things stand, three teams will be relegated from the Premier Division in 2017, although the move to a ten-team Premier for 2018 remains clouded.
Cantwell said: “With three teams going down, we know how tough it will be. It was going to be a battle anyway, but it does make it harder the three teams going down.
“We need to make sure that we get points on the board early on and get some momentum going.”
Cantwell played in the Under-19s with UCD and Waterford United before moving to Wexford Youths in 2014. Most recently, Cantwell as been at Galway United and lined out 25 times for the Tribesmen last season.
Like fellow new signing Danny Morrissey and Ethan Boyle, who has signed for a second season at Finn Park, Cantwell played under Horgan with the Irish Schoolboys team. All three will be on full-time contracts at the club.
Cantwell says: “I had a few offers from different managers, but when I met with Ollie he put everything on the table.
“He told me how he wanted me to play and where he thought the club was going. I want to show the fans here now what I can do.
“I’m really looking forward to it. The club is going in the right direction here.
“I’m not just here just to keep them up. The club wants to improve. They want to improve the ground, they want to improve the support and everything.
“Hopefully we can stay up and allow the club to keep improving.”
It has often been noted that Horgan’s biggest barrier to signings, more so even than finance, is geography. However, even though his mother wasn’t too enamoured about son’s move to the north-west, Cantwell has no qualms about relocating.
He said: “One thing I had to think about was the distance. I’m from Kilkenny so moving to Galway was going halfway up the country and now I’m going the full way. My mother wasn’t too happy about that!
“I had to think about it and this was the best move for my career. I had to take this chance or I would be living with regrets. When I weighed up the options, this was the best thing for me.”