Longford set to lose O'Reilly & Verdon as Premier lure proves too strong
Article by Kieran Burke - @KieranBTS
Betweenthestripes.ie has learned that Longford Town FC are set to lose two of manager Neale Fenn’s most valuable assets in the coming days with both defender Daniel O’Reilly and midfielder Sam Verdon set to sign for newly promoted Finn Harps. The news of these two big losses to “De Town” comes just hours after goalkeeper Mick Kelly announced he had played his final game for the club and was accepting an opportunity in England, that opportunity is believed to be at Colchester United.
While neither O’Reilly or Verdon have yet put pen to paper with Ollie Horgan’s Donegal based outfit, it is believed both players have met with and been impressed by what the former Republic of Ireland schoolboy manager had to say to the current Longford Town FC stars.
The news of yet more departures is sure to disappoint Neale Fenn, who guided the “Red & Black” to within four points of the play-off places last season, with the former Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers striker certainly eyeing up a proper push at promotion in 2019.
Twenty-three-year-old centre back O’Reilly has been included in the PFAI First Division team of the season for the past two campaigns running and has previously played with Fulham and Bray Wanderers before an initial unsuccessful spell with his current club back in 2016. However, after returning from a brief spell in the lower reaches of England, O’Reilly instantly became a key clog in the Longford wheel under Alan Mathews and most recently Neale Fenn.
As for former St.Pat’s midfielder Sam Verdon, the twenty-three-year-old has excelled since dropping down into the First Division midway through the 2017 season. Scoring on his debut away to Wexford, Verdon would go on to score a further two goals, most notably in “De Town’s” cup killing of Sligo Rovers at the City Calling Stadium. That form saw interest in Verdon increase over the off-season but Neale Fenn was eventually able to convince the Dubliner to stay in the Midlands. Notching an impressive nine league goals in 2018, Verdon can play in a variety of positions including central midfielder, attacking midfielder, up front or out on the left and this flexibility should add greatly to Ollie Horgan’s options should Verdon put pen to paper in the coming days.