BJ Banda's extra-time goal was one of the moments of the football year. While Limerick's remarkable turn around may have been something special in itself, it was all undone with one strike from a 17 year old and, with that, Finn Harps were once again a Premier Division side.
As they've found out before, things are significantly tougher at the top level and they're duly preparing for that with the kind of signing that will certainly grab some attention in Donegal.
— Finn Harps FC (@FinnHarpsFC) November 26, 2015
McConnell was released from Old Trafford at the end of last season having previously captained the u21 side. The underage Ireland international left the club after three years with a groin injury interrupting his final season in England. However, the Donegal native is following in the footsteps of the likes of Mikey Drennan by returning home to for a fresh start in the game.
Speaking to Harps' official website, manager Ollie Horgan has stated that a move home is all about giving McConnell the best possible chance to progress and kick on in his career.
I know Ryan well and he is a lad with good character who knows he is going to have to work very hard over the next 12 months. If he does that, then he has the qualities that are needed to succeed at senior level.
We are looking forward to working with Ryan to offer him the best opportunity to progress his football.
With numerous Irish players heading over to England at the age of sixteen, it's inevitable that the majority of them won't break into the Premier League, the numbers are clear on that. However, with the likes of McConnell and Drennan looking to the League of Ireland, it can only be good for both the individuals and Irish football as a whole to ensure they remain in the game.