Belfast Telegraph

Institute will show mettle after Quigg's shock exit, insists Curry

By Alex Mills

Skipper Dean Curry insists Institute are becoming accustomed to a mid-summer crisis.

With the new Danske Bank Premiership season looming, manager John Quigg, who was only appointed on April 22 - and in charge of only two competitive games - decided to walk away to take up an offer of full-time coaching with the FAI.

Most clubs would press the panic button. Institute not only face the prospect of starting the new campaign managerless, but they must prepare for a daunting opening examination against the reigning champions Linfield at Windsor Park tomorrow.

However, they are made of stern stuff. Don't forget, this is a club that survived a natural disaster in August 2017 when their Riverside Stadium was washed away by flash floods, leaving them totally homeless.

They have since relocated at Derry City's Brandywell Stadium.

Having also lost a posse of players over the past nine months, including talisman striker Michael McCrudden - he joined Declan Devine's Candystripes - Curry believes they will take Quigg's exit in their stride.

"We didn't know anything," he said. "We were in training last Saturday and once the chairman and board members were there, we knew something was wrong.

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"We really can't fault Quiggie. He thought it was a better opportunity for him. We wished him all the best of luck.

"The timing wasn't the best, but that was out of our control. We now have Sean Friars, Paul McLaughlin and Mark Scoltock looking after things - they've been about the club for a long time. I don't know whether the board will stick with that team or perhaps look for someone else when everything settles down, but we are in safe hands."

Curry is under no illusions. He admits a top-six finish is probably too big of an ask, but is targeting eighth as a realistic goal.

"Survival is the name of the game," he added. "It would be fair to say we exceeded expectations last season. Our aim at the outset of any season is eighth."

Institute in focus

Current manager: Paul McLaughlin, assisted by Sean Friars and Mark Scoltock.

Captain: Dean Curry.

Last season's finish: Eighth.

Players out: Ronan Doherty, Ronan Wilson and Paul Smith.

Players in: Paul Wells, Conor Tourish, Ciaran McDermott, Rhys McDermott, Conor Gormley, Niall Grace, Raymond Foy, Aidan McCauley and Brendan McLaughlin.


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