Young talent can be found everywhere in North West
Mr ‘Jack of all Trades’ John Quigg spent ten years at Institute as player and then assistant manager.
After 10 successful years at the Riverside, Quigg left in 2006 and is the current Derry City U19s and Reserves manager.
Despite his ties with the League of Ireland side, he still recalls his former club’s memories with fondness.
“At the end of the day it was Paul Kee who brought me to Institute as a player and I went and got my badges and actually helped Paul Kee as an assistant manager,” stated Quigg.
“Then Paul Hegarty took over after Paul Kee and I was assistant manager to Higgsy as well. So I had 10 good years at ’Stute, as a player and as an assistant manager. I still keep in touch with the likes of Paul and Brian Donaghy and that.”
That decade consisted of playing in the side that played Premier League football, which Quigg considers to be the best side that he had played in.
“The year they got into the Premier League, they came from a B Division club to a First Division club into a Premier League club in maybe three or four years.
“Ray McGuinness was absolutely fantastic in the four seasons he was there. We had Joe (Adrian) Creane, John McGarvey, Cathal Derry and Kyle Maloney, when I joined the team in ‘96 I would say all them players were fantastic.”
“People say of that old ’Stute team, they say they never seen the likes of it. One season we finished I think fifth.
“That was great because we were only part time players against the likes of Linfield, who we beat three times in the one year. I don’t think anyone’s ever done that since.”
Quigg was brought in to that “old ‘Stute team” by current manager Paul Kee. After a successful playing career, Kee chose Quigg as his number 2 man and if anyone knows Paul Kee’s footballing philosophy it’s him. Quigg believes that the club should hang on to Kee if they want bigger and better things.
“I think they have the right man in charge, Paul Kee has all the qualifications to take ‘Stute to another level.
“With his coaching staff they have a great background team and hopefully I think this is the year that they get back to the Premier League.
“In this city there is two senior clubs and if the two senior clubs are playing top football then it’s great incentive for all the young players to go play for them.”
Quigg still follows the club when he can. He admitted he is grateful to ’Stute for initially signing him, then helping him get his coaching badges. With ’Stute sitting third in Championship One he holds the current crop of players in high regard.
“They have fantastic footballers, at the minute there’s some young, talented players out there, where two or three came from Derry ourselves, the likes of McCrudden and young McCauley both were at Derry under-age teams.
“Then you have Paddy McLaughlin and Parkie (Stephen Parkhouse) who played for Derry. They’ve got a very good balance between experience and youth and with Paul there hopefully they can get promotion to the Premier League where they should be.”
As Derry U19’s manager, it’s Quigg’s job to know youth football in the area. He believes that both clubs could only benefit with the standard of youth players in the city.
“The standard in Derry and the North West, and Paul Kee will say the same, is fantastic,” he added.
“The likes of St Columb’s College, they won the 12, 14 and 15 over the last couple of years in Northern Ireland schools, and I think the Tech (North West Regional College) was runner up so you have under 18’s, 16’s, 14’s and 12’s who are competing against all the best schools in Northern Ireland, and they’ve won over the last 3 or 4 years.
“If we get them in the right mentality then we’ll not be far wrong.
“The likes of Institute are doing a fantastic job of it and Derry are doing a great job of it, so I can see the two senior clubs doing very well over the next couple of years.”