The Finn Harps Schools Programme currently has over 6,500 primary school children participating in their soccer coaching & Eat Right Play Right programmes in schools right across Donegal. To date in this years school calendar year, over 1,200 children and their schools have already have attended matches at Aviva & at Finn Harps. The coaches have added a little element of fun this year & have been asking the pupils to VOTE for their favourite Finn Harps Player & guess who was the winner, by an outstanding vote, the one & only talented young lad Ciaran Coll from St. Johnston.
The Finn Harps Schools Programme supports children in the development of positive life skills. Their qualified coaches provide safe, enjoyable recreation opportunities where each child has a positive, rewarding experience while learning the basic skills and fundamentals of the soccer football regardless of skill level and where each child learns the importance of sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork, respect, and integrity while sharing with their coaches and teammates the emotions of success and failure. And through the Eat Right Play Right Programme, they learn the importance of good nutrition in sport and for life.
Ciaran was chosen as the favourite & on Friday evening last, he was presented with a cup from the Finn Harps Main Sponsor, Brendan Kelly, Kelly’s Toyota at the Toyota showroom on Port Rd., Letterkenny. Recently signed for Finn Harps upcoming season, Ciaran was clearly delighted to have been chosen as the primary school kids favourite player. “As a soccer player for Finn Harps, I am delighted and proud that I can be looked upon as a good role model for young soccer players. I was chuffed to receive this tonight & want to thank everyone who voted for me as their favourite player. I was one of those children who took part in the Finn Harps Schools Programme, while at St. Baithins N.S, St., Johnston so I know how this programme has helped me develop as a player & as a person. I would like to thank John Campbell who is responsible for rolling out the programme and to Brendan Kelly, Kelly’s Toyota for his dedication and sponsorship to this programme. Everyone who volunteers in this programme, will make a difference to so many kids lives through sport and personal development, setting them up for life.” says Ciaran
Ciaran played under-age football with Kildrum Tigers before signing for SPL side Hearts in 2007. He spent a year at Tynecastle before returning to Ireland where he signed for Finn Harps at the start of the 2009 season. Ciaran made his Harps debut against Kildare County on 7 March 2009 and made 28 league appearances for the club that season. But in 2010 injury ruined Ciaran’s season and his only appearance came in the final game against Mervue United. 2011 saw Ciaran back involved and he made 21 league appearances during Finn Harps First Division campaign. In 2012 Ciaran scored his first league goal for Harps netting in the 62nd minute against SD Galway on June 1st. Seven minutes later he scored his second as Harps went on to win 5-1. By the end of that season Ciaran had made 27 league appearances and in 2013 he added 18 more. The following year he was again a key part of Harps’ defensive line, making another 27 league appearances. Ciaran was once again a key part of the Finn Harps side in the 2015 season as he made twenty-five league appearances during the First Division campaign, captaining the side whenever Kevin McHugh was absent, before playing in all four play-off matches, scoring a huge goal in the opening minute of the away match to UCD as Harps won 1-0, as the club were promoted to the Premier Division after overcoming UCD and Limerick.
Speaking on behalf of Kelly’s Toyota, Brendan Kelly said, “This is the 2nd School Year that Kelly’s Toyota have been involved with the Finn Harps Schools Programme and as their Programme Sponsor it has given our team and our brand pleasure to see how many children in this county that have benefited from this fantastic programme. It’s not always about the ability of a child’s soccer skills, its about getting the chance to take part and making them feel like they are part of our own local soccer heritage “Finn Harps”. The coaches do tremendous work with these children encouraging fun while delivering their fundamentals of soccer skills regardless of skill level. And all of these children will at some stage through the programme meet their local soccer heroes, like Ciaran, who deserved this award, get the chance to travel to Aviva and to a Finn Harps Soccer Match. Chances like these would never be available in our county if it were not for the Finn Harps Schools Programme. We are delighted to be involved & look forward to presenting many of our 6,500 children with awards throughout the season. Well done to all those involved John Campbell, Programme Manager, all of the Coaches, Paddy Harte, Chairman, Myles Sweeney, Donegal Sports Partnership, Ann Marie Meehan, Principal St. Baithins N.S., Packie Mailey, Finn Harps & Grace Ann McGarvey, PR & Marketing for their dedication and continued hard work.”