Harney has had injury problems, a late club campaign from last season and he also had the Sigerson Cup to negotiate. As willing and as powerful as he is, the body needs minding. And Saturday’s EirGrid Connacht Under-21 final against Mayo is the immediate priority.
“I’m just trying to get a run of it now,” he says. “I tore my hamstring in early December in a club game and I was out for eight weeks. It was grand then for three weeks but I suppose the Sigerson weekend, I played (for DCU) on the Friday against Jordanstown and then it went in the warm-up. I’m just back now two weeks trying to get a run at it.”
Harney finished up in July 2015 with Roscommon, went straight back into it with his club (Clann Na Gael) who played until November in the Connacht championship.
“After that we’d club U21: that went on through December. I was playing with the club, back with DCU and then Roscommon started again so that didn’t help. You’d think in the winter months you’d get a bit of a break but it was worse than ever in November and December.”
His enthusiasm for the game is still strong but mentally he gets drained. “Mentally I feel it’s worse,” he admits. “Physically you can get over your aches but mentally you’re getting up in the morning and you’ve training that evening and it’s a two-hour journey down and a two-hour journey back and you’re running around a pitch, you’re thinking why are you doing it? That’s hard.”
They face a Mayo side they know pretty well this weekend and Harney knows he will be pushed hard again. “They won the Connacht minor the year after us, so we are close in standard. They have Diarmuid O’Connor and lads with their senior team and they will be tough.”