FORMER REPUBLIC OF IRELAND manager Brian Kerr says Finn Harps face ‘a big challenge’ after booking their return to the Premier Division.
Kerr was speaking on Soccer Republic, RTÉ’s weekly League of Ireland highlights show.
Goals by Michael Funston and BJ Banda secured a 2-0 extra-time win over Limerick FC at Finn Park on Friday night, meaning Harps will, for the first time since 2008, play in the top flight next season.
“Finn Harps have a big challenge ahead of them next season,” Kerr, who managed St Patrick’s Athletic from 1986 to 1996, said.
“It was a fantastic victory. It was a great night for Finn Harps to get back up.
“They’ve a tough task, but both Galway and Longford have shown what can be done, especially Longford, where it has been a slow burner.
“Tony Cousins did a really steady job and they allowed him build a team that was ready to survive and they comfortably finished in sixth place.
“Can Finn Harps do something like that? It’s going to be very difficult for them, but they have got to build up on their structures, they need to improve the dressing rooms, they need to improve the facilities for spectators and they need a better pitch.
“A lot needs to be done as well as a better team.”
Harps’ proposed move to their new stadium in Stranorlar has been a frustrating one for the powers that be on Navenny Street, with the construction currently at a standstill.
That the Soccer Republic panel gave little credit to Ollie Horgan and Harps for winning promotion hasn’t gone down well with supporters and, indeed, the club’s official Twitter account had this to say:
Ah well to be expected I suppose pick out the negatives not the massive achievement #UTH #blueandwhitearmy #nochangethere
— Finn Harps FC (@FinnHarpsFC) November 9, 2015