Institute started pre-season training on Monday night and boss Kevin Deery wants his players to get off to a good start this season.
Last season it took them six games to get a league success, in fact they only picked up four points from a possible 18 during that spell and Deery is looking for an improvement in the 2016/17 campaign. Tomorrow at 12noon the Championship fixtures will be released and Deery is desperate to get off to a good start.
“We got off to a poor start last season; we lost four out of our opening five games but I just feel the year under our belts will help everyone, but we have to have a determination that we don’t want to be in the play-off spot this season,” he said.
“We aren’t a million miles off it and we never took a beating by anyone in the division,
“I know Warrenpoint have come down from the Premier Division and they have kept all their players and obviously Larne have added very well so I’m not a fool and saying ‘we are going to win the league, but as I said we are desperate for a better start.
“Although the play-off will hamper us in terms of preparation as it’s going to be a short pre-season for us, but I felt it was only fair to give the players an extra eight or nine days off after the play-off disappointment.
“Yes we’ll have a short pre-season but maybe it will work for us and benefit us more, because we had a seven-week pre-season last season and that was probably because we were knew and we were trying to find our feet.
“This season we are a wee bit more established and we know a bit more about the league.”
During their first session at the Vale Centre new signings Sean McCarron, Dean and Stephen Curry all took part as did experienced players Mark Scoltock, Michael McCrudden and Stephen O’Donnell along with young players Jamie Dunne and Aaron Jarvis and Deery wants his players to look to better themselves this time.
“I’m still really disappointed with the play-off defeat, but you can’t let moments like that keep you down, you have to strive to better yourself and that’s what I’ll be crying out for the whole club to do that,” he added.
“Hopefully Sean and Stephen will add goals to our team and I’m hoping to add to the squad, we might need possibly a goalkeeper and a few other players in certain areas. We look forward to welcoming Alex Pomeroy back into the squad after his broken leg, he has now got his cast off, so he should be back soon.”