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Wright looks to future after Lisburn Distillery revival

The election poster at New Grosvenor said it all; “Vote Wright”.

If the Lisburn Distillery boss was to stand in Lagan Valley this Thursday he would be assured of the New Grosvenor vote.

In electoral parlance the “swingometer” swung some 20 points in the last two months; from 12 points adrift, Tommy Wright’s side finished eight points ahead of Institute.

It could have been a couple more on Saturday had the Whites taken their chances against Coleraine. But they had to rely on veteran campaigner Glenn Ferguson to pop up and head an equaliser two minutes from time.

That strike cancelled out Rory Patterson’s 41st strike of an excellent season, ironically on 41 minutes, before he starts the new campaign at The Oval.

“I didn’t want to see this proud club relegated and I certainly didn’t want it on my CV,” said Wright after a remarkable season had finished. “(There is) a bit of relief and there are a few of us running on empty so it has just come at the right time for us. I am pleased that we have achieved what we have but we have to make sure that we are not in this position next year again.”

Wright aims to be at club next season adding: “I spoke to the acting finance officer last week and I don’t see a problem based on that meeting. The main thing over the next few weeks will be to sort out players who are coming out of contract. I have already spoken to them and that’s one thing that I admire about them, the patience they have shown and I will sit down next week and let everybody know what is happening and then we look forward, hopefully with a lot of optimism to a new season in August.”

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It’s been a long and ultimately disappointing season for the Bannsiders, but if he were to issue a manifesto for next season, Coleraine boss David Platt would use the strap line “Bigger and Better”.

Happy enough with the point, with eight regular first team players out, he reflected on the season: “I said progression this year would be finishing higher than what we did last year and we are points tally-wise but position-wise we are not.

“I think we showed that we can play but it’s about a bit more mental strength and I think we showed we have gained from it as well so hopefully next season we will be bigger and better.”

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