HAVING completed his transfer from Cork City to Fleetwood Town earlier this month, David Harrington revealed that he came within “centimetres” of joining Premier League side Everton in the summer.
The Toffees had shown a strong interest in the U21 Republic of Ireland but an injury to Harrington’s shoulder meant a collapse to the deal.
However, Harrington was not too disheartened that the switch to Everton never materialised as he was always aware that Fleetwood were interested in him.
“I’d say the move to Everton was centimetres away from getting done. It was basically just waiting for an opportunity to get me over and sign the contract. But then they found out about my injury and that kind of slowed everything down.
“They were waiting to see how bad the injury was before making the commitment.
“There was talk that the deal would be finalised in January. It was always the plan that I was going to sign a pre-contract anyway.
“That I was going to finish the seasons with City before signing properly in January. However, when they saw the scan results after my surgery in November, they were reluctant to go ahead with the deal.
“Fleetwood did show a bit of interest in the summer. Even before Everton had fully dropped their interest, Fleetwood were offering to get my surgery done for me.
“They wanted to send me to a specialist in London, they were really adamant on having me over. Then they flew me over to a game a few weeks after the season had ended with City. They were really good to me and my dad and that meant a lot.
“Just the way they conducted themselves throughout the entire process really impressed me.
“I would have probably had to go out on loan. Here, although I’m injured at the moment, when I’m back fit, I hope to be immediately in with the first team.”
Harrington, who will be out of action until April due to the torn cartilage injury he sustained last summer, is enjoying life in his new surroundings and is working his way back to full fitness.
Fleetwood are managed by former Celtic captain Scott Brown and Harrington is looking forward to working with the Hoops legend.
“I’m enjoying it. I’m settling in now. I just moved into my own place which isn’t too far away from the training ground.
“I signed just before January and have been over here full time since the 2nd of January. When I first came over the club put myself and Phoenix Patterson (former Waterford player) in an apartment together, which was good. But we both wanted our own space.
“I’ll probably be out injured until April. I go in every morning to the physios. They do a bit of soft tissue and a bit of movement.
“Then it’s up on the watt-bike. Those sessions are so hard. One of the toughest sessions I have ever done. Then it’s just about doing some more rehab and a bit of soft tissue work with the physios.
“Obviously, it’s not ideal joining a new club and being injured, but everyone has been really good to me so far.
“The club have been very good with the injury. They have accommodated me with every problem I have brought to them, and I can’t fault them. “Hopefully I can get out on the pitch sometime soon to repay the belief they have shown in me.
“I haven’t had much dealing with the manager, but from what I have, he’s the type of manager that just demands that the players give everything on the pitch.
With Harrington’s former club Cork City beginning their league campaign in less than three weeks, the keeper believes that his old teammates could have ambitions of challenging for Europe.
“I think realistically the lads won’t be aiming to win the league.
"It will be great for everyone to have the club back in the Premier Division after a three-year absence.
“It would be a fantastic achievement if the club could manage to get a European spot. Either way, it’s just great the club are back in the top flight because it deserves to be there.
“It is a massive club and it hopefully won’t be too long before they are competing in Europe again.”