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FOOTBALL: HOULLIER CHOOSES FROM A FULL-STRENGTH POOL; Omagh Town v Liverpool.

OMAGH Town manager Roy McCreadie is aiming to bring striker Michael McHugh back to the club.

McHugh's loan contract at Coleraine ends on Wednesday and he was foremost in McCreadie's mind as last night he planned for tonight's glamour friendly against Liverpool.

McHugh left Omagh last year to sign for Derry City but was out of favour at the Brandywell and linked up with Coleraine on a loan deal.

He will figure as a guest for Omagh tonight.

The Donegal man was a crowd favourite at St Julian's Road, and following the weekend's First Division league defeat to Dungannon Swifts, McCreadie has been forced to step-up his search for a new striker.

The Omagh boss attended yesterday's National League game between Derry City and Sligo at the Brandywell but said he was not on a scouting mission.

"I am waiting until Wednesday to find out what the situation is with Michael McHugh," he said.

"He is still a Derry City player and I believe Coleraine will let him return. It's now up to Derry to decide and if Michael becomes available, we are interested.

"The player has to ask himself if he is prepared to drop to the First Division too and we have to be in a position to finance a deal if there is one, and right now we are not in any position to talk money."

At St Julian's road tonight, McCreadie will set his eyes upon strikers his club will never be in a position to afford.

Liverpool arrive for the last of Omagh's three match programme to raise funds for the Omagh Bomb Appeal Fund.

The Mersey reds follow in the footsteps of Chelsea and Liverpool and a capacity 7,000 will be treated to a full strength Gerard Houllier outfit.

The Liverpool manager has promised Omagh Town that he will field the bulk of his 20 man squad, which includes Michael Owen, Jamie Redknapp and Danny Murphy, who scored in the club's 1-0 Anfield defeat of Chelsea at the weekend.

Omagh's Paddy Hunter, one of the men behind the success of the three star-studded visits from Premiership clubs, said Liverpool were "happy" with the facilities of the humble venue.

International stars will have to quickly adopt to Portacabin changing rooms before entertaining in a venue somewhat smaller than the Anfield training ground.

But Liverpool assistant manager Phil Thompson was in Omgah recently and gave the club's presentation the green light.

"It may be hard to believe, but only a handful of people have helped bring Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea to Omagh Town.

"It's amazing that some Irish League clubs complain about our facilties, but it's good enough for three of the best clubs in Europe."

While this may be the end of such fixtures at St Julian's Road for the Omagh Appeal, it is not the end of the fundraising.

In several weeks the club will handover a substantial contribution to the fund and tonight, representatives of the Hillsborough Families support group will make a donation to Omagh.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:McGREEVY, ALEX
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 18, 1999
Words:505
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