Institute's new head coach Brian Donaghey feels ready for hot-seat
Despite being on holiday in Lanzarote, Institute’s newly appointed Head Coach, Brian Donaghey, admits he’ll not be far from the action with regular updates from Saturday's game at Loughgall (KO 6pm).
Donaghey, who was appointed as Sean Connor’s replacement on Wednesday, is hoping to be in the ’Stute dug-out for their home clash against Dundela on Saturday, September 4th but revealed Eddie Seydak and Gary Forth remain in charge of the team for that fixture with the new boss only due back from holiday 24 hours earlier.
“Unfortunately I don’t get back until the early hours of next Friday so I’ll not be taking training next week and would actually prefer not to be in the dug-out for the Dundela game,” explained Donaghey.
“I don’t mind being in and around the changing room but this is something we have to discuss because I don’t want to undermine the good work that will happen next week at training with the staff that is already there. I don’t want to stand on their toes but we’ll talk about that throughout the week.
“After the Dundela game I will be on the training pitch and getting on with things but don’t be shocked if you see me in the dug-out next Saturday.”
This will be the former Cliftonville number two’s first time in the manager’s hot-seat and it’s a challenge he’s looking forward too, admitting ’Stute was probably the only club for whom he would finally take a step into the managerial world.
“I am looking forward to it. I was asked by other people for years why I hadn’t become a manager but it never really took my notion and I think if it wasn’t ’Stute I don’t think I would even considered anybody else,” he explained.
“I go away back with ’Stute, from playing to coaching and then being Paddy’s (McLaughlin) assistant. I have a lot of time for the club.
“Having seen what was created under Paddy, I know it’s going to take a lot of work and I’m under no illusions that the hard work has already started but I want to bring a feel good factor back to the club. I want the players to be enjoying their football and to be play without fear. Eventually I would like to play a certain style but it’s all going to be baby steps.”
Donaghey has already been working on bringing new faces into the squad but admits that some targets are wary because of the Drumahoe club’s current league position at the bottom of the Lough 41 Championship table.
“Players are looking at the situation and they are very sceptical. Some are saying, ‘Come back to them at Christmas’ and stuff like that because some are a bit worried of where we are languishing but I’m still hopeful of bringing in a few players before the window shuts,” he added.
“We need more experience and I’ll be talking to Ruaidhri Higgins at Derry and Oran Kearney at Coleraine to see about possible loan deals.”
Donaghey also acknowledge Higgins’ start into his managerial career at the Brandywell is something that he has kept a keen eye on.
“I have taken great heart from what Ruaidhri is doing at Derry. He was analyst first and foremost, then he went into the coaching and he has taken on things brilliantly at Derry. I have had good experiences and bad experiences and I’ll use them all. I’ll use things I’ve learned from other managers, the likes of Paddy, and see what people have done.
“I’m not going to complicate things. A happy player for me is a good player. If we can get them happy and enjoying what they are doing then great, we’ll try to achieve small goals at the start.
“It’s going to be a tough job. I’m under no illusions as I have looked at the squad and it’s paper thin but I think we’ll have enough to get out of trouble.”