EDINBURGH Harps’ pre-season matches continued in the pouring rain earlier this month against Clermiston Vale. Despite the conditions, the Harps played some free flowing football in the first half, racing into a 4-0 lead thanks to a Craig Lamb hat-trick and running out 6-1 winners.
Boosted by the return of former Derry City youth player Cormac O’Brien, Ryan Hamill and former Fulham star Jonny Cosgrove, the squad has significantly strengthened over the summer with the latter two players both helping themselves to goals versus Clermiston Vale.
In the opening ten minutes, Lamb was set free by new signing Jack McLachlan to set the tone by calmly slotting the ball past the Vale keeper. McClarey set Lamb free as he then turned provider for Cosgrove who bundled home a low cross. McClarey teed Lamb up for a further two goals before half-time as the Harps looked in a rampant mood.
It was a very solid defensive performance from club captain Kurt Priestley playing in a back three alongside McLachlan and Ewan McLean. In a man-of-the-match performance, goalkeeper Ross Burns was called into action on a number of occasions making some breath-taking saves in difficult conditions. While a clean sheet would have been the icing on the cake, Clermiston scored a penalty late in the second half as a consolation.
Conditions got tougher in the second half and centre midfielder Mark McLeod started to get on the ball more dictating the pace of the game. Goal of the day went to Ryan Hamill as the ball dropped to him on the corner of the box and his fine volley nestled in the far corner. Roddy Gillies slotted home from the spot late on to add the sixth.
Harps pre-season is set to continue against familiar opponents, Bank of Scotland, as well as a midweek game against Edinburgh Star having already suffered a 3-0 defeat to Meadowbank in their first outing back.
The club also enjoyed a training squad game with a Scotland vs Ireland and the Rest of the World (above) match, having had their annual friendly against Glasgow Irish for the Jason Lyons Memorial Trophy rescheduled due to local restrictions. The Scots ran out 4-1 winners with Ireland’s only goal coming from Roscommon native Eduardo Guevera.
The new season is tentatively scheduled to start on October 24 subject to government advice and guidelines and the squad will continue to work together as a unit until then.
The club has undergone a period of transition in the close season with a new committee structure in place and fresh faces giving the club a new lease of life going into the new season. The Harps current management and committee recognises and would like to say a huge heartfelt thanks to the outgoing Club Chairman Colm Sweeney, Manager James Moran and Treasurer Sean Fagan for all their hard work and commitment to the club since day one.
With so much uncertainty in the world, the Harps have kept some continuity with President Gary Gormley still providing a guiding hand to the club albeit remotely as part of the new normal.
With players being allowed to train safely together, interim player-manager and incumbent Club Chairman, John McClarey, has put them through their paces in training.
The new committee structure has seen Steve McCauley move into the Treasurer role, Adam Kerlin appointed as Club Secretary, McLeod is now social convener with Angus Brock, Cosgrove and Priestley providing additional support. The club would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank everyone for their efforts on and off the pitch.
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