FOOTBALL: Institute to make move for Cliftonville defender

Winger Jamie Dunne has returned to Institute.
Winger Jamie Dunne has returned to Institute.

Institute manager Paddy McLaughlin is hoping to strengthen his squad this week.

McLaughlin, who is currently in Belfast completing his A Licence coaching, confirmed that Michael McCrudden has re-signed for the club and winger Jamie Dunne has also returned to Drumahoe.

He hopes to add at least three more players before the season gets underway, in fact, two players may arrive as early as this weekend.

It’s believed that Derry City U21 midfielder Ronan Wilson and Cliftonville centre-back Caoimhin Bonner are top of ’Stute’s wanted list.

“To be honest I’m hoping to get two players signed up this week,” he insisted.

“I would have signed one player earlier in the week but I’m in Belfast doing my badges until Friday, so I’m hoping to get everything sorted the minute I return and hopefully they’ll be at training on Saturday.

“We have lost a few players since the end of the season and I’m looking to replace them, but I’m not looking for a big squad this season. I want to ensure that we have a small tight-knit squad this season.

“I feel there’s no point having three or four players sitting in the stand each week and I also believe that a few U20 players are good enough to make the step up into the first team this season.

“In fact just last week myself and their manager Sean Friars spoke to them and, having seen them develop over the last few years, I believe they are ready to start knocking on the first team door. So, because of that, I’ll be looking to use them more this season.”

The Drumahoe men like a host of clubs start pre-season this Saturday, but McLaughlin already feels they are ahead of schedule.

The new ’Stute gaffer feels the squad have worked tremendously hard in the off-season and stuck to their programme .

“All the boys can’t wait for pre-season to start on Saturday,” he added.

“To be honest they are ahead of schedule and are a credit because they have all stuck to their gym programme plans and gym sessions throughout the break; they all have put in a serious shift, which is great,” concluded the ‘Stute boss.