Institute boss Sean Connor happy to sign ex-Liverpool starlet

Institute manager Sean Connor believes Conor Quigley will be the first of many new signings in the coming days.
Former Ballymena United defender Conor Quigley (right) has signed a one year deal with Institute. Picture by Desmond Loughery/PacemakerFormer Ballymena United defender Conor Quigley (right) has signed a one year deal with Institute. Picture by Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker
Former Ballymena United defender Conor Quigley (right) has signed a one year deal with Institute. Picture by Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker

The former Liverpool starlet, who left Ballymena United at the end of the season, has signed a one year deal much to Connor’s delight.

The ’Stute boss believes the 22-year-old comes to the Waterside men at a good age and has all the attributes that he wants to see in a player.

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“I’m delighted to get Conor in, he’s a good, quality player,” stated the Institute manager.

“He’s technical, he has the age profile we are looking for and the experience we are looking for so I’m really happy to have him in.

“Conor went over to Liverpool as a kid and was at Swansea. Then he went to Dundee so he has got good pedigree and then came back to Ballymena. He was a high profile signing for them and was in their team before he was a bit unlucky with injuries.

“Look, he’s a local lad and I think that’s important for us as well. He’s a super, super lad with a great attitude and he’s totally raring to go now because he has missed so much football last season.

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“It’s great that he can play in a few positions. We brought him primarily to play on the left hand side of the pitch but we aren’t going to try and pigeon-hole him too much. We are OK for centre-halves at the moment but, yes, he can give us cover in that position or maybe let us go to a three at the back.”

The ’Stute gaffer is hoping to add a few new faces to his squad as they continue their preparations for life in the Bluefin Sport Championship.

With no obvious ‘big spenders’ like Larne and Portadown have been in recent seasons, Harry McConkey’s Ballinamallard United side will start the season as favourites for the title, while Loughgall and Ards finished last season’s campaign strongly before the coronavirus pandemic cut the season short. The likes of Newry City and Harland & Wolff Welders will also be challenging for promotion.

“I have been away this week speaking to a few players and while things are still tight in terms of the budget, to be fair to the club, we’re trying to be as ambitious as we can be. We know it’s important to come straight back up, or certainly be around the play-offs, because the longer you stay out of the Premiership, then you do become a Championship team,” he warned.

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“Ballinamallard have a decent budget and some of the Belfast teams have decent budgets but, yes, there’s no one who is really going to run away with it.

“Either way getting straight back up has to be our target and obviously that’s very, very important but it’s not going to be easy, we know that.

The Championship is going to be very competitive and I just hope that we can adjust quickly because it’s a different type of league and different type of football.

“But at the minute I’m quite happy with the way things are going. We are quietly going about out recruitment and, as I said, we hope to have another two or three players to announce over the weekend or early next week.”

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