​Lincoln City, Larne keeping tabs on Institute midfielder

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​ENGLISH League One outfit Lincoln City and Irish Premiership champions Larne are among the clubs keeping tabs on Institute's talented teenage midfielder Oisin Devlin.

​The 17 year-old Carnhill lad has been the subject of several enquiries made by at least two League One clubs in recent weeks.

It's also understood Tiernan Lynch's Larne were prepared to offer a substantial fee for the youngster, who turned 17 early last month, with the intention of loaning him back to Institute for the remainder of the Playr-fit Championship campaign.

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Devlin has also caught the attention of managerless Lincoln who have been linked with Ireland boss Stephen Kenny and Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley recently while League Two side Wrexham have also showed interest.

Institute’s Oisin Devlin gets to the ball ahead of Bangor’s Jack Henderson.  Photo: George SweeneyInstitute’s Oisin Devlin gets to the ball ahead of Bangor’s Jack Henderson.  Photo: George Sweeney
Institute’s Oisin Devlin gets to the ball ahead of Bangor’s Jack Henderson. Photo: George Sweeney

Indeed, several clubs are monitoring his performances and 'Stute boss Kevin Deery - who confirmed the interest - is hoping to keep the player at the club for the remainder of the 2023/24 campaign with his team flying high in third spot after 13 games.

"Oisin has been playing well," said Deery. "I think when you see the turnaround for all those players and the way we've recruited, you will probably get another few names coming down to watch our players.

"There have definitely been a few enquiries about Oisin and it's my job to keep him grounded and keep him doing the best for Institute and our group of players. I think with his character and personality that won't be a bother.

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"Myself, Mo (Mahon) and Niall (Grace), we're always looking for players to become the best they can and at the right time I'm sure Oisin will have a right go and something bigger and better but it has to be the right time for himself and I think we're the right staff to guide him to that.

"I would be hoping to keep him until the end of the season," he insisted.

"I don't think he's ready to go and play in the Irish Premiership right now or whenever he might go, maybe England.

"But I think another five or six months growing the way he has since he came into the building four or five months ago will do him the world of good."Devlin played the full 90 minutes in 'Stute's morale-boosting 1-0 victory over second placed Portadown at Brandywell last week.

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He'll be among the squad which travels to Ballyclare tomorrow hoping to follow up that win and become the first team this season to clinch victory at the home of the Comrades.

Ballyclare are currently fourth place in the table, just three points behind ‘Stute and are unbeaten on their own patch.

"It’s another tough game to be honest,” said Deery. “It’s a tough fixture. They’ve played eight at home and won five and drawn three, so it’s a big task ahead of us.

"Of course we want to be the first team to beat them at home this year but we’re under no illusions as to how difficult a game it will be for us.

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"Yes, we had a good result against Portadown at the weekend but that’s all it was. The aim this week is another three points but they’ve been scoring lots of goals so we need to be on top of our game to achieve that."

‘Stute are also in a rich vein of form and after an impressive defensive display against the Ports, Deery’s hoping for more of the same.

"When you have to dig in and get your points, it's a massive win for us. We got our rewards with a clean sheet.

"We have to use that as a catapult to go and win the next game and go again."