When all was said and done, a lack of regular game time contributed to Michael Funston making the heavy-hearted announcement this week that he was set to leave Finn Harps.
Since making his debut, back in May 2004 against Dundalk, the Bonagee man has played 334 times for Harps, who he has been with all his career bar an 18-month stint at Dungannon Swifts.
Picture: Michael Funston with another Finn Harps legend, Kevin McHugh, last night. Picture by North West News Pix
Funston confirmed on Tuesday night, via a message on Facebook, that he was set to leave the club after next Friday’s game against Sligo Rovers.
Last night, Funston played the last 16 minutes of Harps’ 3-2 win over Limerick and he revealed that his limited role in the first XI was the primary reason for his imminent departure.[adrotate group=”91″]
“I made no bones about that: I want to play every minute,” he said.
“When you put so much into it, so much gym work and you give so much commitment, you want to get as much game time as you can. It’s time to move on.”
Last night was Funston’s 10th League appearance of the season, but he has started only three of those games.
He said: “It wasn’t an easy decision. Last year, I only started eight games and it was a long season. My wife had a baby in January and I didn’t know if I’d come back. I decided to come back to see how it went. Ollie knew it was on a see-how-it-goes basis. I spoke to Ollie after the Drogheda game and said if he needed me I’d stay until the break.
“Sometimes it just happens. You want to play forever, but you can’t. I came in here in 2004 and senior players left because I came in, but it’s come full circle now.”
Rarely has Finn Park so boisterous this season as that moment when the board went up and Funston was in for his Finn Park farewell.
He said: “It was emotional, but it’s nice to sign off with a win here. It’s good to get the three points.”
Listen to the full interview below …