NATHAN Boyle’s loan move to Finn Harps happened five months after it was initially mooted.
The 21-year-old Derryman (pictured above) had been expected to make the switch to Ballybofey from Derry City in February, but the talks broke down and Harps signed Ruairi Keating from Sligo until June.
When the shutters went back up on the transfer window again, Ollie Horgan, the Harps manager, found his striking options to be in short supply with Keating departing for the Showgrounds again.
Horgan plumped for Boyle again.
He made his debut as an 82nd minute substitute in the 1-0 win over Cabinteely and he didn’t take long on his first start to make an impact, netting twice in the 3-0 win away to Waterford United.
“It was nice to get the goals to lift the confidence a bit,” he says.
“I hadn’t been playing in a while. Hopefully I can get a few more goals.
“I’ve been loving it.
“When I came in, I wasn’t expecting to get full games or to play as much as I have. I’ve been working hard and it’s been enjoyable.
“Since I’ve come in, the boys have been great. I came here to get first team experience. They’ve really helped me settle in.”
Harps face into the last six games of the season with the scent of promotion still alive in the Ballybofey air as Horgan’s men head for Stradbrook and a clash with Cabinteely.
Boyle says: “It’s exciting. If you can’t get up for matches like this, you shouldn’t be playing. We’re going into the League run-in full of confidence after the Shelbourne result. We can’t wait to get going again.”
When Boyle arrived, there was a considerable void left by Keating’s departure and coming into a side that was making a push for the top positions brought its own weight upon the shoulders.
He says: “I felt a wee bit of pressure. I was joining a team at the top of the table and going for promotion. They had hit a bit of a bad patch before I came in, but we got back on track again.”
Harps were three games without a win before they got over the line against Shelbourne two weeks ago, thanks to Kevin McHugh’s penalty.
Boyle says: “We played with confidence and we created a good few chances.
“We kept the ball very well that night too, compared to other games when at times we were hoofing it and going into the corners.
“We took a lot out of the Shelbourne game. There is a six-point gap now but we just need to keep winning. We can’t be looking too far ahead either. Three points against Cabinteely will be a great start.”
Boyle is well aware that the Harps attack has seemed limp of late, but is craving the scoring touch again.
He says: “We need to score more goals. We’ve just had a lack of consistency scoring but, if we want to go up, that has to change.
“That’s what I’m aiming to do. I want to score a lot more between now and the end of the season. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll just put the head down and try to push it on.”