Institute to face Premiership champions Crusaders

Paul Smith is one of three players who have signed for Institute.
Paul Smith is one of three players who have signed for Institute.

New Institute boss Kevin Deery has wasted no time in signing up three new players ahead of next season.

Deery has also organised three pre-season friendlies against Premiership champions Crusaders, last season’s Championship champions Carrick Rangers and North West neighbours Limavady United.

The Waterside men have signed trio Paul Smith, Jordan Hale and Gareth Brown.

“Thankfully I have three players definitely signed up and I’m working on a few others,” said Deery.

“Jordan was at Derry before coming to me at Trojans last year, Paul Smith was also with me at Trojans and he was also at Institute for a short spell last year and young Gareth Brown comes in from Limavady.

“The profile of the players suits me in what I want to do, they are in the same boat as me, they are young and want to be ambitious and I feel they are three good signings for the club.

“I’m really happy with the signings they are quality young players, who with a wee bit of hard work and guidance they can do well for us.”

Deery also conceded that he’s hoping to re-sign quite a few of last year’s squad with Graham Crown in particular one of his main targets.

“I finish my coaching course in Belfast next Friday and then the real work begins,” he added.

“I have already spoken to the majority of last season’s squad and they have all said that they want to come back, apart from Graham, who admits he’s still hasn’t made his mind up.

“I’m obviously still working hard to try and add bodies to our squad and I want to get a meeting with the U19 manager and see what is there.

“As everyone knows our resources wouldn’t be as extravagant as some other clubs, so obviously we can’t have people travelling too far to the club, so the squad is mostly going to be as local as possible and more importantly keen people who want to do well.

“Either players looking to revamp their career or young hungry players looking to get their career up and running.

“We start pre-season training on June 25 and I want to give everyone a chance and see what I have and then assess from there.

“It’s going to be a finding out period for everyone, including myself so people are going to have to be patient a bit, but I’m really looking 
forward to getting pre-season started in a few weeks time.”

The Drumahoe club’s first fixture of the season will be against Paul Owens’ Limavady United side next month, before travelling to Seaview on Saturday, July 25, to face Stephen Baxter’s Crusaders and then entertain newly promoted Carrick, on Saturday August 1.

“After those games against Crusaders, Carrick and Limavady I’m also hoping to organise a few other matches against local sides, I’m already talking to Cockhill Celtic,” added the Stute gaffer.

“I have been told our pitch at Drumahoe probably won’t be ready until the middle of July, so our first few games will be away from home, but either way we’ll be well prepared for the start of the season.”