INSTITUTE Football Club have experienced an emotional rollercoaster during the past fortnight, from the high of winning a Cup final to the low of last Monday night’s announcement of its financial plight.
SIMON COLLINS reports
The Drumahoe club’s Board of Directors revealed the dire condition of its finances during that emergency meeting with management, leaving joint-manager, Paul Carlyle and the rest of the coaching staff with the unenviable task this week of lifting the mood in the dressing room.
Carlyle agrees the club must now ‘cut its cloth accordingly’ after the decision to reduce expenditure but he feels he still has the backing of the players who remain committed to the club and its immediate objectives.
“Both myself and Paul (Kee) expected the announcement to be made on Monday night,” said Carlyle. “We knew about the financial difficulties the club are going through but in this climate everyone is struggling.
“This last five or six months, the gate receipts we’ve been receiving have gone towards paying referees for travel expenses. That’s the situation and the players are all made aware of it. We’ll speak to them again tonight (Thursday) at training but most of the players understand and are happy.
“They’ve all had the opportunity to come back to myself or Paul Kee and, as yet, no one has come back and said they were unhappy.”
Midfielder, Sean Friars has been the first to depart from the Riverside having joined his brother Emmet at Dungannon Swifts and Carlyle understands his reasons for leaving.
“Dungannon have been after Sean for quite a while, even before Rodney McArea was appointed. Sean is at the age now when he wants to play Premier Division football and we’re not going to stand in his way and wish him good luck.”
Despite the stringent cut-backs, Carlyle still plans on adding to his current crop of players with the search for a goalkeeper the priority going into tomorrow’s Intermediate Cup third round tie at home to Carrickfergus side, Kilroot Rec. (Kick-off 1.30 p.m.)
Regular custodian, Corey Wilson is expected to miss tomorrow’s game through injury and the club are understood to have enlisted the help of former Kildrum Tigers goalkeeper, Martin Gallagher, providing they receive clearance in time.
“We’re still looking to bring players in because we have a skeleton squad. We need a goalkeeper because young Corey Wilson is injured and we need a keeper signed for this weekend.
“We’ll be talking to a few this afternoon just for cover for Saturday but we need a couple in for competition because we have a big cup match against Donegal Celtic coming up,” he concluded.