ATHLONE Town have received a further fitness boost as their long-awaited return to Airtricity League Premier Division action looms ever larger.
Midfielder Alan Byrne, who picked up an ankle injury in last week’s Leinster Senior Cup opening round win against Wexford Youths, returned to training on Monday night, and despite initial fears he might miss the start of the season - away to Sligo Rovers on March 8 - manager Mick Cooke allayed fears about Byrne’s injury earlier this week.
Now it appears that Neil Harney, who has suffered with a quad muscle injury over the last couple of weeks, will also be fit for the start of the season.
Speaking to the Westmeath Independent today, Harney (one of 12 monthly award winners in this year’s Westmeath Independent Sports Star Awards, which take place on Friday in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel) said: “I did a full session last night and came through without any bad reaction. I should be okay for the start of the season.”
Harney is also expected to be fit for Athlone Institute of Technology’s big Colleges Cup final in Athlone next Tuesday.