DCSIMG

Paul Kee hoping Institute can surprise their Premiership rivals this season

Stephen O'Donnell & Michael McCrudden celebrate last season's title success

Stephen O'Donnell & Michael McCrudden celebrate last season's title success

  • by Arthur Duffy
 

Institute may have had to wait four years to return to the Irish League top flight, but boss Paul Kee believes the element of surprise may well prove significant – particularly during the early stages of the season.

Institute may have had to wait four years to return to the Irish League top flight, but boss Paul Kee believes the element of surprise may well prove significant – particularly during the early stages of the season.

Boasting a budget which is probably the lowest in the league, Stute will depend heavily on what Kee describes as “a nice blend of youth and experience” as he attempts to outwit the more fashionable clubs.

And realising that the vast majority of his opponents will abhor the trip over the Glenside Pass on a Saturday afternoon, his plan is to see them return pointless as he hopes to re-establish the Drumahoe venue as a fortress.

In order to do just that, the Stute boss (below) may not have the luxury of finance at his disposal but his side will enter the season as something of an unknown quantity.

A highly respected Pro-Licence Coaching Badge holder, Kee has also appealed to the Londonderry public to come out and assist his youngsters this season.

“It has been a long four years since we played at this level and so much has changed within that time,” he insists.

“Football has struggled, attendances have fallen but the quality of our players continues to impress me.

“Those returning to Drumahoe this season will notice a newlook Riverside Stadium, a new stand has been constructed and a much better viewing area for matches is now in place.

“So the club has played its part in developing and improving our facilities and I’d like to think that those people attending our matches will be treated to a decent brand of football as we continue to play the game they way we believe it should be played.

“It’s not going to be easy for us and we certainly can’t take anything for granted, but we feel we do have the element of surprise. We will be an unknown quantity and we must take full advantage of that.”

With no funds available to pay wages, Institute hold the view that they have now provided a facility to enhance and develop the talents of young players.

“For us it will be all about hard work for the players and the coaching staff, with players developing their skills and improving as they prepare to play at senior level,” Kee added.

“And we are also fully aware that should we make an impression on the park, then the likelihood is that those same young players who have been developed by us will probably move on to other clubs, but that’s life and we must get on with it.”

“We realise that Derry City have represented the city well in the League of Ireland over the years, but we also believe that Institute is also capable of representing the city in the Irish League.

“The facilities are in place and I’m hopeful that the football fraternity from throughout the north-west area will return to Drumahoe as they have done in the past to support the club.

“We’ve had local players in training sometimes for and five nights per week during our pre-season and for those not living in the immediate area, they have travelled to train on at least three nights.”

 

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