Institute’s Shane McGinty was the deserved winner of the Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Championship Player of the Month for February.
The talented midfielder helped himself to seven goals last month as the Waterside men secured fours wins in a row.
McGinty, who netted two hat-tricks in the month only managed not to score in one game in February, was quick to praise his team-mates after picking up the accolade yesterday.
The 21-year-old has really started to shine in recent weeks but he was first to deflect praise to his team-mates for his hat-trick in their impressive 4-0 win over Knockbreda last weekend and he believes there is more to come from Kevin Deery’s young squad.
“I was kind of the face of the hat-trick against Knockbreda,” he said.
“The first goal to be honest was a nice strike from me, but the second goal came after great work by Mickey McCrudden and Jamie McIntyre, they laid it on a plate for me and the third was after a great bit of play by Jamie Dunne for the penalty, yeah I get the plaudits today for the hat-trick, but as a team we are flying at the minute and it will take a lot to stop us.
“These results have been coming and I still think a team is going to come to Drumahoe and get a real drubbing off us, yes while we won 4-0 against Knockbreda, but I still feel that everything is going to go right for us and because of that we are going to really hammer a team.
“The way we are playing these last few months in particular I can’t see a team stopping us, but we have to keep our standards up and make sure we keep doing what we are doing.”
As for his manager he has been delighted by the ex-Coleraine man’s form but believes there were a few other Stute men who could have won the award and with five players - Mark Scoltock, Stephen O’Donnell, Jamie McIntyre, Michael McCrudden and McGinty - all in the NI Regional squad things are certainly going in the right direction.
“Shane has been super for us over the last number of weeks and I’m delighted he has won the player of the month award, its great recognition for him and the club,” said the Stute gaffer.
“I watched Shane’s interview on Sunday on the Sentinel website and he was quick to praise his team-mates, which was a great touch by him and in fairness was truthful just because everyone has been very good over the last few weeks in particular.
“We have conceded 14 goals in 15 league games and that’s a credit to the whole team.
“We conceded three goals at the Welders on the first day and three at Armagh City, so that means we have conceded eight goals in the other 13 games, so it’s a fantastic defensive record and while I’m delighted for Shane to win the award, I feel the team as a whole deserve a lot of credit.
“Even though we were third bottom before jumping a few places after Saturday’s win, we still had five players and a couple on stand-by in the Northern Ireland Region squad, which drew with Derry City on Monday night, so it’s good for the boys to get recognition and thankfully results are going well for us at the minute.
“However in saying that you can’t get ahead of yourself and we have to maintain all the good habits like doing all the training sessions and continuing to play the right way and hopefully that will maintain our recent form and you never know a different player could pick up the award next month.”