INSTITUTE: Irish League football back at Brandywell after ground green light

Institute manager Paddy McLaughlin and club captain Michael McCrudden celebrate with the Bluefin Sport Championship trophy.
Institute manager Paddy McLaughlin and club captain Michael McCrudden celebrate with the Bluefin Sport Championship trophy.

Institute have confirmed Derry City’s Brandywell Stadium as the home venue for next season in the Danske Bank Premiership.

It will mark the return of Irish League football to the Brandywell for the first time in over four decades.

“Institute FC have been asked by NIFL and the Premier League Management Committee to confirm our home location for the 2018-2019 season,” confirmed a club statement. “As a result of a series of meetings since gaining automatic promotion from the Bluefin Championship we can confirm that Derry and Strabane District Council have accepted our booking request for our home games to be played at the Brandywell Stadium during the coming season.

“The club continue to be involved in detailed conversations regarding these arrangements and we will be meeting with Council Members, the Council’s Safety Advisory Group, and local community representatives during the coming weeks.”

Club chairman Bill Anderson has highlighted the long-term aim of a permanent Institute home.

“We are still looking for an appropriate site so we can relocate in order to secure the future of the club for the next 100 years because at the Riverside Stadium we are on the fourth highest floodplain in Northern Ireland,” said Anderson. “It was unbelievable what Paddy (McLaughlin) and the boys did last season.”