FINN PARK in Ballybofey holds fond memories for Cork City’s Garry Buckley.
Back in August 2017, when City were experiencing a speed-wobble en route to the Premier Division title, Buckley’s goal secured a 1-0 win at Finn Harps, a result which helped to calm some nerves.
Tomorrow, the Rebel Army are back in Donegal seeking to get their season going and, while Harps have had a tough start too, Buckley isn’t taking anything for granted.
“It’s never a nice place to go,” he says, “it’s always by the odd goal.
“I’m not sure what shape the pitch is in, this time of year it mightn’t be the best.
"It’ll definitely be a scrap, you always earn your point or three points when you go up there and this’ll be no different.
“We always put in good work up there because we know what it takes to win up there.
"Once we do that and take our chances, I’ve no doubt we can get the three points.”
Four league games have resulted in a win, a draw and two losses for City, but Buckley feels it’s a case of righting a few small things rather than there being severe structural issues.
“It’s been a bit hit and miss,” Buckley says.
“I still think we can take a lot of positives from the games, I think in two or three of them Mark McNulty didn’t have a save to make.
“We just need that killer instinct in front of goal, we’ll be up and running then.
“We’re putting in a lot of effort in training and I’d say once that goal goes in – it could go in off someone’s backside in some game – then we’ll get rolling.
“We thought we would after Sligo, I thought we were all over Derry the other day.
"Hopefully, we’ll start flowing soon. We believe in our ability.
“We’ve been there and we’ve done that and we know what it takes, so we have to bide our time.
“It’s not for the lack of effort, we’re putting in unbelievable effort on the pitch and off the pitch in training.”
The fact that there has been a big turnover in the squad means time is needed to gel, while Buckley also feels that the open nature of the league means it’s important to stay in touch.
“There’s been an overhaul, we lost seven or eight good players,” he says.
“It was going to take us a good bit of time to gel as well, there’s a couple of players only after coming in in the last few weeks too.
“It might take a few weeks to get used to them and for them to get used to us, but we have no doubt that we have very good quality.
“There are five or six teams that could easily challenge, the teams below us are getting better too.
“There’s going to be a time, maybe ten or 15 games into the season, when there’ll be a breakaway and we have to make sure that we’re in that pick to be within striking distance come the last couple of months.”