INSTITUTE’S Graham Crown admitted Saturday’s Irish Cup defeat to Kilmore Rec certainly wasn’t the way he wanted to end his season.
The talented defender, who travels to Switzerland this week for a few months as part of his teaching course in Stranmillis University College, is hoping when he returns for the start of next season he will be getting ready for Premiership football with the Drumahoe side.
“I’m going to Switzerland for four and a half months to study for my teaching course, I will also be teaching at an international primary school and hopefully maybe I’ll get a wee bit of football over there too,” he stated.
“Obviously I’m going to get settled in first and then try to get some training done and I think Keeso (Paul Kee) has had a chat with a guy over there, so hopefully we’ll get something organised when I get settled.”
Although he will be many hundreds of miles away the former Foyle & Londonderry College pupil admits he will be keeping a close eye on how things are shaping up at the Riverside Stadium.
“Without a doubt hopefully by the time I come back we are in the Premiership,” he conceded.
“I’m sure I’ll be on the ’Stute website every weekend checking the results and hoping the boys do well.”
The 20-year-old is confident that his team-mates can bounce back from their Irish Cup exit and get their season back on track, starting with Harland & Wolff Welders this weekend.
“Obviously losing to Kilmore was a bit of a set-back, but I’m sure we’ll bounce back, the boys will train hard all this week and get ready for the Welders match.
“We were unbeaten for something like eight or nine games and I know the boys will want to get a similar run going again from now until the end of the season, particularly in the league. Hopefully if that can happen then it will get us into at least the top two places and then we hopefully we can get promotion.”
Crown also feels their Irish Cup disappointment can be somewhat of a blessing in disguise and he also insists he’ll be coming back to Drumahoe looking for a possible Championship or Intermediate Cup medal, if ’Stute do manage to win any silverware this campaign.
“Obviously it would have been nice to keep the Irish Cup run going, but the league is and has always been our main thing this season,” he added.
“Everyone at the club wants to get back in the Premiership and it would be great if we could still win the league and the Intermediate Cup, as I certainly won’t be turning down any medals that might be on offer.”
As for his boss at ’Stute he feels replacing the utility man is going to be tough for the remainder of the season.
“Graham will be a big loss to us but there’s no doubt that he will be back again next year,” stated Kee.
“He has been a consistent player and that is definitely going to effect us over the next eight or nine weeks, but we are going to have to make sure that we are at the money defensively over the next few weeks.”