INSTITUTE: Kevin Deery looking to add new faces this week to strengthen squad

Institute's Caolan Cooley wins this header during their pre-season friendly win over Strabane Athletic. INLS3016-105KM
Institute's Caolan Cooley wins this header during their pre-season friendly win over Strabane Athletic. INLS3016-105KM

Institute manager Kevin Deery is hopeful he will have his squad for the forthcoming season completed by the end of the week.

Deery is confident that he will sign two/three players before their opening game of the season at Moyola Park in the League Cup, which takes place on Saturday August 6, but he’s keeping his fingers crossed that he can add a couple of new faces to his squad in time for Saturday’s friendly at Cockhill Celtic (KO 4pm).

I feel we need another few players in certain areas because undoubtedly that’s where we fell a wee bit short last season, we need competition for places.

Kevin Deery

The Stute gaffer, who watched his side defeat Strabane Athletic 6-0 last weekend thanks to goals from Niall Grace (5) and Stephen Curry, also feels that while he has a lot of faith in Marty Gallagher, he wants to add another goalkeeper.

“I’m working on a few things and hopefully I might have two young players signed later in the week,” he said.

“I feel we need another few players in certain areas because undoubtedly that’s where we fell a wee bit short last season, we need competition for places.

“We were very light in numbers and while Paddy (McLaughlin) did great at times, you shouldn’t have to ask your assistant manager to go on the bench or start games, so I feel there’s a couple of wee things that we need to improve and numbers is one of those.

“We’ll be looking to go into the season with a squad of 18 and if I can get these two young players, they tick all the boxes. The first thing I look for in a player is quality and then I’ll work on the other stuff and these two definitely have the quality.”

Deery feels that young winger Caolan Cooley, who has signed from Trojans, will play a part this season.

“Caolan is a young player with stacks of potential and he was one that I considered last season, but I felt another season in the Intermediate League with Trojans would have done him the world of good. I watched him on a number of times and he was outstanding,” he added.

“So I’m glad we have got him in as he’ll gives us competition for places. He was excellent against Finn Harps last week and I have no doubt that he’ll have a real impact in the Championship. He’s a winger who can play on either side and he’ll come into the reckoning this season.”

One man who has left the club is last season’s top scorer Shane McGinty, who after weeks of speculation decided to sign for Premiership boys Ballinamallard United.

“Look I spoke to Shane and I knew how tough it was for him to decide to leave, but while I’m disappointed he has left, I’m also proud that I managed him right and I got a lot out of him for one season,” he added.

“When he left Coleraine he might have felt that he would fall off the radar by moving to Institute, so it was a bold decision from him, but he was excellent for me and the club. I can hold my head up high as well because I got a lot out of him. But I wished him all the best and hopefully we cross paths again.”