INSTITUTE: Grace thanks Drumahoe club

Institute midfielder Niall Grace. INLS1616-128KM

Institute midfielder Niall Grace. INLS1616-128KM

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Midfielder Niall Grace is counting the days until he is back playing in the Institute strip.

The 23-year-old has made a steady recovery from his serious head injury. Family and friends are delighted with the progress he is making but Grace is only focused on regaining his fitness and getting his life back to normal.

The Creggan man conceded he has been over whelmed by the support he and his family have received especially from everyone connected to the Drumahoe club.

“What Institute have done for me and my family has been amazing. They could not have done more and I think that’s why I’m so itching to get back playing for them,” he said.

“Again, it’s not just the club but the fans couldn’t have done any more either and I want to get back out there so they see me back playing and giving my all for the club.”

At the start of the season Grace and captain Stephen O’Donnell had a friendly bet on who would score more goals this season and while the skipper is a few goals in front, the ex-Trojans man is anxious to make up for lost time.

“Unfortunately Stevie is a couple of goals ahead of me,” joked Grace.

“So it might take me a while to catch up with him. We might have to switch the bet a bit and maybe start fresh when I get back into the team.”

As for boss Kevin Deery, he can’t wait to see the big man back in training.

“There has been a dark cloud over us this last number of weeks, so to see Niall out there was great - everyone was smiling and full of joy.

“We would have been really disappointed not to get anything out of the game at the weekend and it was great to see him in there after the game and in full health.

“He’s a big character and he’s full of fighting spirit as he’s shown in the last few weeks. Hopefully we can get him back training soon.”