Institute to face Crusaders at Seaview

Institute manager Brian Donaghey admits he’s found it frustrating trying to recruit players ahead of the new season.

Institute manager Brian Donaghey is aiming to make a few new signings in the coming days. Picture by George Sweeney
Institute manager Brian Donaghey is aiming to make a few new signings in the coming days. Picture by George Sweeney

Donaghey, who confirmed pre-season training will get underway later this month, has held talks with a host of players over recent weeks but unfortunately without being able to secure a single signature.

“I have nobody concrete and to be honest it’s getting more and more difficult,” insisted the Stute boss, “Everything tends to come in a late rush. It’s not what I want as I would much rather have my business done early but the more you are talking to people, there are other clubs also doing business so players hedge their bets.

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“No one is being very committal at the minute but I do hope things will change over the next week to 10 days.

“To be honest it’s frustrating at this time of the season, because you are taking so many calls; you’re saying the right things and you’re hearing the right things but players are still looking to take more time. What they are waiting on I don’t really get.

“Listen it’s their prerogative to make their own decision so, as I said, it’s just a waiting game for us at the minute.

“My budget hasn’t really changed and I have been to a lot of summer cup games and watched a host of players. I’ve been all around the country from Donegal to Antrim and you are seeing other managers at the games, even Premiership managers, so we are all doing the same stuff. We’re all probably looking at the same players but if a Coleraine comes in for a player that you may fancy, then you aren’t going to get that player.

“That happened recently. I went to watch the same player for the five/six weeks and suddenly he goes and joins another club and they had seen him once but ,look, this is the stuff that goes on behind the scenes.

The ’Stute boss revealed he is in regular contact with the likes of Derry City boss, Ruaidhrí Higgins, and Coleraine manager, Oran Kearney, and host of other managers in regards bringing in young players on-loan for next season.

“If you aren’t actively trying to recruit then you’ll get caught out. So far it hasn’t been for the want of trying and I’m just hoping we’ll get a bit of luck here and there and we manage to get an extra four or five bodies in who can play in key positions. Then I would be quite happy going into the start of the season,” added Donaghey.

“Building those relationships, especially with Ruaidhrí, Oran and the local clubs around us, is very important. Young Jay Riley, who did well for us last year on-loan from Coleraine, it looks like he’s going to a club in Scotland.

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“Everything is taken into consideration but when you put in the hours and the work hopefully we’ll get our rewards at the end of it.”

’Stute, who begin fitness testing their players next weekend, will have three games at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium during pre-season and also face Coleraine and Crusaders away from home next month.

“We start pre-season training the week being June 29th. We’ll probably do fitness testing the week before that and then we’ll be starting in the gym where we’ll do three or four nights a week, probably Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday,” he explained.

“We’re playing Coleraine at the Showgrounds on July 18th, Crusaders on July 23rd at Seaview and we have three home fixtures on July 16th, 30th and August 7th.

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“We also have had a few discussions with the clubs who are in Europe that if one of them goes out early, then they have promised to try and come up to us on one of those later dates. That’s something for us to look forward to and will be a good test for us.”

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