Institute boss Kevin Deery admits he’s hoping to have a selection headache for their league opener at Warrenpoint Town, on Saturday (KO 3pm).
After having a comfortable 3-1 win at Moyola Park in the League Cup last weekend, Deery could be forgiven to sticking with the same side, but he’s keeping his fingers crossed that recent signing Ryan Doherty will be available for selection.
The midfielder on-loan from Derry City, who impressed during their recent friendly against the D&D Select, is awaiting on international clearance.
Nevertheless Deery concedes it will be probably be later in the week until they get word that the clearance is sorted, either way he would love to have Doherty ready to face the fellow title contenders, at Milltown this weekend.
“Look Ryan is a quality young player, who if his clearance comes through will be in our squad, but we’ll wait and see,” he said.
One man who is also on-loan from Derry is Gareth McFadden, but he’s likely to be a few weeks away in terms of match fitness and won’t be in the squad this weekend.
“I have to cast my eye over Gareth in a training session, because we haven’t done one with him, as he only signed on Saturday, after returning from a holiday,” he added.
“He did the warm-up at Moyola and did a gym session on Monday night, but I would need to see him in a couple of sessions, so I think this week would be too soon for him.
“But he’s a natural left sided player, who slot into left-back and in midfield and it’s nice that he’s versatile. He can play anywhere on the left, but I think it will take him and Ryan a bit of time to get used to the league.
“But you would hope the players that we have kept that gained the experience from last season, will guide them along.
“Last season it was so new and fresh to everyone and obviously we didn’t get the best of starts, so you expect the boys to guide them a wee bit and say to them that this is what the league is about and help them settle in right and quick.”
Deery knows that Town will be aiming to bounce straight back into the Premiership and because of that he’s expecting them to be looking to start the season with a bang.
“I think everyone that I spoke to they have managed to keep the majority of their squad from last season, a bit like ourselves, so we are under no illusions that it’s going to be a tough game, but I feel it’s a good time for us to be playing Warrenpoint.
“With it being the first game of the season, every team across the country will be ready to go and hopefully we can get a good positive result.”
Also missing Saturday’s opener is trio Gareth Brown (suspended), Mark Scoltock and Caolan Cooley (holidays).
“Gareth has a slight hamstring problem at the minute so he would be out anyway but he’s suspended,” added Deery.
“But he misses the Welders match the week after because he picked up 15 bookings from last season and it’s something we have talked about and he needs to improve that this season.
“While Scolty and Caolan are both on holidays, which isn’t ideal, but I did say that we needed numbers so I’m glad I have numbers and quality throughout the squad.”