Institute manager Paddy McLaughlin was happy with how debut boys Colm McLaughlin, Ronan Doherty, Joe McCready, Jamie McIntyre and Ray Kelly performed, in Saturday’s 4-1 friendly win at Ballinamallard United.
Although the debutantes didn’t score they all played a part in what was a super first outing of the season for ’Stute.
Despite Nathan Cashel giving the home side the lead, the Waterside men came storming back with goals from Jamie Dunne, Stephen Curry and Aaron Jarvis (2) secured the comfortable victory.
“I thought everyone that played did very well, all the new signings settled in well. I thought Ronan Doherty has been top class since he has come in and he’s going into a position where he probably hasnt played in for a while, as he has been playing out wide, but we brought him in more central and he oozes class on the ball, so we were delighted with that.
“I know that Joe (McCready) looked lively in the final third, you saw a couple of glimpses of that too.
“Colm McLaughlin is like I said from the start as good a replacement as we could have got for Eamonn Seydak and he has gone in as if he has been here for years, which is top notch, so it’s so far so good.
We know we are no fools, we know ourselves that it’s going to be tough for us this season, but I keep saying it that we need to be as strong and as fit as we can. On Saturday as I said we had good intensity and that’s what we need to maintain throughout the season.Paddy McLaughlin
“Ray Kelly went into nets in the second half and he looked comfortable, while Jamie McIntyre also came on done very well; he’s a great option for us and I’m delighted he’s back at the club.
“We have got good young keepers at the club; Conan Doherty and Gareth Muldoon have been at the club a few years now and they are good for the future, but at the minute Marty (Gallagher) needs some type of back-up and Ray has got that experience. He has been around the league for a while and we are happy to have him on board and challenge the two young boys.”
Some of the link up with Dunne and McLaughlin on the left wing and Ryan Morrow and Callum Moorehead on the right, was something that the ’Stute gaffer admits pleased him, but he knows that his players need to be at it in every game this season in the Danske Bank Premiership.
“I was delighted with the performances, especially when we made 11 subs, as it was good to get everybody minutes on the pitch as it’s not long until the season kicks-off,” he stated.
“It was a good work out for everybody, we didn’t drop our intensity and didn’t drop our quality, which is good.
“Sometimes when you play friendlies and you make so many changes it does take the sting out of the game a wee bit, but fair play to our boys, we kept the intensity and standard high, which is very good.
“We have been back a few weeks and it has been tough; I’m sure the boys will tell you that, but we have also started to work on patterns of play. We are going up a level and we know that and we are working on that, because we have all gone up a level in our game.
“That’s going to be part of things for this season, the players will have to be very tuned in for things and that’s what the boys have been doing in the last week or two and what they’ll continue to do as we look for them and the squad to improve as individuals and as a team.
“We know we are no fools, we know ourselves that it’s going to be tough for us this season, but I keep saying it that we need to be as strong and as fit as we can. On Saturday as I said we had good intensity and that’s what we need to maintain throughout the season.”
McLaughlin, whose side looked the stronger after the early set-back and kept possession very well for long periods, was also pleased with Jarvis’ second goal, which was a 25 yard wonder strike.
“To be fair all our goals were fantastic teams goals. Our equaliser was super as Callum crossed from the right and Jamie headed home so both wingers linked up. Michael (McCrudden) played a super through ball for Stephen, who finished well, but Jarvy’s two goals were fantastic.
“His first was a nice finish, but his second was a wonder goal. Scolty (Mark Scoltock) took a quick free-kick to Joe, he laid it off to Aaron and he volleyed it home from the edge of the box, it really was super.”
On Monday night ’Stute had a comfortable 3-1 win at Limavady United, with goals from McCready, Gareth Brown and McCrudden sealing the pre-season victory at the Showgrounds.