Institute manager Paddy McLaughlin has one major injury concern ahead of Friday night’s league opener at Dergview (KO 7.45pm).
Right back Ryan Morrow will have a fitness test on a troublesome groin problem, while duo Aaron Jarvis and Ronan Wilson return to the squad after missing Saturday’s friendly at Dungannon Swifts.
“We’ll give Ryan right up until the last minute in terms of a fitness test,” confirmed McLaughlin.
“Everyone else is fine and raring to go.
“All the hard work in pre-season is for the entire campaign but, yes, the opening match, especially under the lights on a Friday night, is always good.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game because it always is against Dergview. They are a good side and have strengthened from last season.”
We know it’s going to be a tough game because it always is against Dergview. They are a good side and have strengthened from last season.Paddy McLaughlin
McLaughlin concedes he would love another striker at the club but stressed that front duo Gareth Brown and Kyle Curran Friel have been very good in pre-season.
“Yes, I would like another striker but I feel Gareth and Kyle have done well in pre-season,” he added.
“Young Kyle has come back like a ne w man. He’s like a new signing for us. He has scored goals and put the work in, both in training and games.
“We also have young Alex Pomeroy but I feel if anyone of those three get injured or suspended then we are struggling and will have to throw a young player in. So while I’m happy with what we have at the minute, I stil l feel we need to add a striker.”
It has been a hectic few months for the ’Stute manager after he replaced Kevin Deery and also got married to his wife, Helen, during the summer break.
McLaughlin also admitted that Friday night’s opener will be a proud moment for him as he starts his managerial career.
“Yeah it really has been a crazy few months since May, what with not securing promotion, then Deerso leaving; me getting the job and then getting married as well, it was has been hectic,” he joked.
“I’m really looking forward to Friday though as it will be my first game in charge.
“We have worked hard over pre-season and even on Saturday, the boys put in a great shift at Dungannon Swifts and with a bit more luck might have won the game.”