Institute bring in five new signings

Institute boss Brian Donaghey says he’s happy with his new recruits but has set his sights on further quality additions to his squad.

Ronan McAleer has joined Institute. Picture by the Jungleview
Ronan McAleer has joined Institute. Picture by the Jungleview

Donaghey has already added PJ Millar, Jamie McCormick, Andrew Whiteside, Ronan McAleer and Darragh Kelly to offset the departures of John Connolly, Aidan McCauley and Liam Walsh during the close season.

Donaghey is excited with how preparations have gone after his team defeated Danske Bank Premiership side, Coleraine, before losing 2-0 to Derry City last weekend with the ’Stute manager delighted that all his new signings have come in and done well throughout pre-season.

“We have our core 14 players but I still think I’m three or four players short to be honest,” he stated, “However we’re working very, very hard on that which we have been doing all summer.

“It has been a slow summer and we’ve probably put in a lot more work at the start of the summer than now but I think the players are starting to realise that the season starts in a few weeks time.

"We always hoped that this would be the case in terms of getting a quick flurry of signings towards the end and at the minute our patience has paid off. I’m happy with the business that we have done so far but we’re not finished.

“PJ Millar, Jamie McCormick and Andrew Whiteside have signed as have Derry City youngsters, Ronan McAleer and Darragh Kelly.

“Darragh is a centre-half who can also play right-back; Ronan is a left-sided player who can play in a number of positions down that left hand side and can also play in midfield as well.

“Darragh played for us in last Saturday’s game against Derry City while Ronan played against Coleraine a few weeks ago. They both came in during pre-season and have done very well.

After having a chat with them they decided to sign for us which is great because I knew a few other clubs were interested in them, but I finally got both of them signed on Tuesday night.

“Andrew is a central midfielder from Coleraine. He’s an ex-Ballyclare Comrades and Coleraine midfielder and also an ex-youth international. PJ is a young lad from junior football, from Phoenix. He’s a centre-forward who has lighting pace and Jamie McCormick has signed from Greencastle. He’s a hard working attacking player who can play in a few positions.

“All those boys have come in and done well in pre-season so we’re happy with getting those boys signed up and hopefully they’ll be a few more over the coming weeks.”

’Stute continue their pre-season action tomorrow as they take on Strabane Athletic at Melvin Sports Complex (KO 2pm) and Donaghey is hopeful of having at least two more matches before the Lough 41 Championship campaign gets underway at Dundela on Saturday, August 13th.

Donaghey says that his squad from next week on will be virtually at full strength as a number of his young players will return from both O’Neill’s Foyle Cup and SuperCup NI action.

“We play Strabane Athletic on Saturday and I’m trying to fix up a fixture for next Tuesday. Then we play Tobermore on Saturday, August 6th,” he added. “After that game we’ll probably just keep the boys ticking over at training in the lead up to the first game at Dundela on Saturday, August 13th.

“I’m looking forward to getting my 18/20 players all together from next week on as we are a young squad. A few of the boys have been playing both Foyle Cup and SuperCup NI recently so once that’s all done I can then start getting a few more boys added to the group and all the panel will be back together for training and matches over the next few weeks leading up to the Dundela game.”

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