STRIKER Jamie Browne is hoping to kick on and impress Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan gayer being handed a first-team contract at the club.
The Strabane man was top scorer for Harps’ Under-19s last season, when he bagged 13 goals.
Browne has been rewarded with a place in Horgan’s first team squad for 2020.
“Having played for Under-17s and 19s, the goal was always to reach the first team and to do so is a great achievement for me,” Browne said.
“I’d like to thank all the coaches I’ve worked with, especially Joe Boyle from the 19s who really helped me to push on last year. I can’t wait to get started now and give my all for the team.”
Horgan admit that he has a ‘duty’ to use the quality from the underage ranks. Browne joins Kieran Farren and Stephen Doherty in making the transition to the first team.
“We’re pleased to have Jamie make the step up to the senior squad for next year,” Horgan said.
“We’re looking far and wide to build the best possible squad and we’ve a duty too to utilise the quality that we have in the club and on our doorstep.
“The academy has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years and players like Jamie are great examples of that.
“It’s a big step up now to senior football and he’s a lot of work ahead of him but if he keeps the head down he can certainly play a part.”
The news was also welcomed by Harps’ Head of Academy, Kevin McHugh.
“It’s more positive news for the Academy and great news for all the coaches who have worked with Jamie the past five years,” McHugh said.
“It’s not as simple as signing for the Under 13s and thinking that’s it, 15s next and 17s after that. It takes a huge commitment and hard work to stay ahead of the pack and be the one that earns a contract.”
Harps legend McHugh was quick to remind Browne that he can’t rest on the laurels of his new deal.
He said: “Ollie doesn’t hand out contracts easily, they must be earned and I’m sure the message to Jamie is one of congratulations, but the hard work starts here and now. The League of Ireland is a tough place to establish yourself.”Tags: