FOOTBALL: Institute’s Windsor Park request turned down by IFA

Institute manager Paddy McLaughlin
Institute manager Paddy McLaughlin

Institute’s hopes of staging a Championship match at Windsor Park later this month have been dashed.

The Waterside club, who have no game this weekend, had hoped to play the PSNI in a few weeks’ time at the National Stadium, but their request was turned down by the Irish Football Association.

Boss Paddy McLaughlin admitted he was disappointed the game wasn’t given the go ahead.

“We were just trying to cash in on our offer and unfortunately the IFA have denied us the date that we picked out, which is disappointing,” he stated.

“We were thinking after we got the good news that we are now playing our home games at Wilton Park, we had two weeks to make use of the IFA’s offer. We felt that we had to use this game up so why not use it the week before we start playing at Wilton.

“The other reason why we went with that game on Friday October 20 was because we saw Linfield had no game at home until the Monday night.

“We got some great news last week that we had the go ahead to play our homes match at Wilton Park, starting on October 28, so our last away game for a number of weeks would be a Friday night at Windsor Park. That would have been nice for everyone connected with the club.”

McLaughlin was full of praise for all associated with the club since it was turned upside downside following August’s flood.

“From day one, everyone has knuckled down. We haven’t dwelt on the situation, we just got on with it and that’s full credit to our boys. They have gone and done the business.

“They have done everything that we have asked of them and we can’t fault anyone right throughout the club.

“Everyone has been working hard, trying to get ourselves back on our feet.”