Kevin Deery motivated by unfinished business after taking over as Institute manager for a second time

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Kevin Deery is returning for his second stint as manager at Championship outfit Institute motivated by a feeling of unfinished business.

The former Derry City midfielder led ’Stute to consecutive Premiership play-offs in 2015/16 and 2016/17 but lost out on both occasions, firstly to Ballinamallard United after a 94th-minute goal handed them a 5-4 defeat on aggregate, before a 5-2 loss to Carrick Rangers the following year.

Since then, the 38-year-old has served as assistant manager to Gerard Lyttle at Sligo Rovers and Declan Devine with his beloved Candystripes, with who he won three FAI Cups as a player.

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Only a few months ago Deery was believed to be coming in for a short period as Ruaidhrí Higgins’ number two at the Brandywell, as it was expected current assistant Paddy McLaughlin was going to finish out the Irish League season with Cliftonville, however the then Reds boss decided to make the switch to Foyleside earlier than expected and so the opportunity to return never materialise for the former Candystripes skipper.

Institute manager Kevin Deery.Institute manager Kevin Deery.
Institute manager Kevin Deery.

Now back at the helm with the Drumahoe club, Deery feels the extra experience has helped turn him into a better manager and he’s ready for the task at hand.

“I definitely have missed it,” he revealed. “You want to be your own man with your own ideas so there's that part of it and then you go and get your own players and everything boils down to you and your decisions.

“I’m looking forward to the big challenge ahead.

“I’m far more self-aware now with my behaviour, touchline behaviour and what players need.

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Kevin Deery during his playing days with Derry City.Kevin Deery during his playing days with Derry City.
Kevin Deery during his playing days with Derry City.

“Players now need a lot of attention and need a lot of one-on-one time.

“I’ve noticed that since being an assistant for a few years.

“They really want guidance and told their exact roles so I’ve learned about all of that and the older you get, the wiser you get.

“Back then I probably took the two play-off defeats far too personally and didn’t realise I was actually doing quite a good job and left them in a good place.

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"I had just finished playing last time and dived straight into management.

“But now I’ve been stopped playing for six or seven years and have gone out and learned off two very good coaches in Declan Devine and Gerard Lyttle.

“I’ve met other good coaches along the way too, so have taken a lot from them.

“I have my own ideas, I have the drive to be my own man and try to be successful as a manager in this country.”

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Institute finished 11th in the Championship last season but were spared the drama of a relegation play-off due to Warrenpoint Town’s licence refusal.

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And Deery is looking to “get a bit of pride back in the club”.

“I always associate myself with challenging at the top end of the table. Most of my playing career was like that, so that's what I intend to bring,” he added. “I intend to bring a drive.

“I know we aren’t getting massive money in the Championship but it doesn’t stop you from wanting to be a competitor and wanting to turn out on a Saturday and get three points.

“We have a big job to do now.

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“And we have to get a bit of pride back in the club first and foremost.

“We can’t be taking things for granted that Institute are an established Championship club.

“We have to work as hard as we can to get back to the top end because it could have ended in disaster this year.

“There will be players moving on, which is always the way after every season.

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“But we have to drive to get up the table and be as professional as we can and that's what I will bring to the party.”

Institute announced the return of Deery over the club’s official social media platforms, with the following message: “Institute are delighted to announce Kevin Deery as Head Coach.

“Deery returns after previously guiding us to two play-offs & feels he has unfinished business.

“Kevin has already hit the ground running & is working hard as the club strives to improve next season.”