Institute's wanted man Joe McCready weighing up his options

Institute's Joe McCready (left) celebrates with Evan Tweed, after scoring at Glenavon last weekend.
Institute's Joe McCready (left) celebrates with Evan Tweed, after scoring at Glenavon last weekend.

Institute look set for another January tug of war for one of their top players as experienced striker, Joe McCready mulls over offers from clubs both north and south.

Only 12 months ago Michael McCrudden, who was the Danske Bank Premiership’s leading marksman at the time, was chased by a host of clubs before he joined Derry City.

And the Drumahoe club are braced for a similarly, unwanted situation this year as McCready, who is out of contract at the end of this season, continues to attract both Irish League and League of Ireland suitors.

The likes of Finn Harps, Ballymena United, Coleraine and Cliftonville are all believed to have made inquiries and some have already spoken to the player directly.

McCreadyconcedes, despite enjoying things under Sean Connor, he will be ‘listening and mulling over offers’.

“I have only a few months left on my contract, so I obviously have been speaking to a few clubs and I think ‘Stute have been contacted by a few clubs as well, but I’m going to hold off until the end of the season and I won’t be signing any new contracts and I’ll look at things when the season ends,” he stated.

“However in saying that if I have any offers in January I’ll evaluate things and I think I’ll make the right decision.

“Sometimes teams don’t want to lose you for nothing, so maybe if ’Stute know that teams are interested in me then they might look for a bit of money in January for me, as any team would try to flog you in January.

“However I know it’s difficult to do transfers in January, but I wouldn’t rule it out either as these things can happen.

“Look, I’m enjoying my time at Institute, love the manager, but it’s a case of whatever suits me best and whatever interests me, I’ll definitely think about it.”

The 29-year-old, who has netted 10 this campaign, scored the equaliser against the Glens last December in a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Brandywell, but McCready feels Mick McDermott’s side, this season, are a different proposition.

“The Glens are a different kettle of fish this season and their manager has done brilliant with them,” he said.

“They are unbeaten in something like 15 games, so they are going to come to the Brandywell flying and they’ll come looking for the three points, but we’ll be looking for points ourselves, especially after a good point at Glenavon last week.

“Yes we probably should have won last week when we were 2-0 up, but now that the dust has settled we are happy with the point and we’ll definitely be looking to take points this weekend but it depends what Institute and what Glentoran turns up on Saturday.”

Prior to last weekend’s draw at Mourneview Park, the Waterside men had lost their previous four games and the former Limavady United frontman conceded the players were totally to blame for that poor run of form.

“Our poor run has been the players’ fault and we can’t blame anything on the manager,” he insisted. “He has drilled us perfectly for all the matches but we just didn’t carry things out properly.

“But hopefully we can just go back to basics and get another positive result. If you offered me a point now, I would probably take it, because all the points are valuable, especially against the top teams and those points will probably become even more valuable before we go into the split.”