Institute boss Brian Donaghey shocked with transfer window madness

New Institute Head Coach Brian Donaghey says he got his eyes opened during the final week of the transfer window.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 7:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 7:42 pm
Experienced goalkeeper John Connolly returns to Institute for a second spell.

In fact, Donaghey admitted he’s delighted he doesn’t have to go through it again for another few months but believes he’ll be better prepared for the January transfer window.

However, the former Cliftonville assistant manager is thrilled to have added goalkeeper John Connolly, defender Joel Bradley Walsh and winger Jamie Dunne to his squad.

“I’m happy we got three players in but I have to admit it was more difficult than I thought it would be and I can see why managers get stressed,” he insisted.

“Nothing should surprise you in football but this week gave me a few surprises. Deals for players I thought were over the line just fell through while other players were looking for crazy money and wanting insurances about other things. It’s madness.

“Things like players trying to dictate to you, which just won’t happen. I’ll be putting the team and the club first. It was a real eye opener.

“We have added a few fresh faces, added a bit of experience and players who have got good quality at this level so they will add to the whole group.”

The Drumahoe club hope to have all three new signings available for Saturday’s game at home to Dundela and Donaghey praised ’Stute’s secretary, Robert McGonigle, and the comet system which the Irish Football Association use to register players.

“The beauty of the comet system, which I was actually using for the first time, means that all the players we signed from fellow Irish League clubs literally went through the system in a matter of minutes,” he explained.

“The days of having to maybe drive half way around the country to get a form signed by a player, then scan and e-mail that form to the IFA and wait to see if everything is fine, those days are thankfully long gone. I think it’s a brilliant system.

“For instance, I requested John Connolly from Ballinamallard and their secretary accepts it and literally within five minutes, it comes back and tells us that he’s a verified Institute player. It’s really, really quick.

“The comet system has been very welcome discovery this week, especially for the three lads. Young Joel Bradley Walsh has to get international clearance sorted for him but we are hopeful he’ll be available for Dundela.

“I have to praise Robert McGonigle, our secretary. He has worked tirelessly. He went and completed a course in his own time, no small thing as he had to do eight modules lasting something like six hours. He had to do that course as it was similar to the comet system and he was starting from scratch. Thankfully he did it and I’m delighted that he did because he was a massive help to me this week.

“Everyone has played their part over the last few weeks in particular but it has to be that way going forward. That has always been the ’Stute way.

“They’re a good club when it comes to stuff like that because there are good people working throughout the club and those people are as important as the players and the first team staff. I want that feeling about the place again, everyone pulling in the one direction.”