INSTITUTE’S NEW Head of Development, Paul Kee, believes he can help lift the doom and gloom currently engulfing the Drumahoe club and has predicted a sharp turnaround in fortunes over the next 10 weeks.
SIMON COLLINS reports
The Waterside man took charge of his first training session with the club alongside team manager, Alan Blair, last night and will take his place on the sidelines for tomorrow’s Irish Championship clash against East Belfast outfit, Harland & Wolff Welders at the Riverside Stadium. (Kick-off 3 p.m.)
Currently the Northern Ireland Under-17 manager and the County Tyrone Performance Coach, Kee believes his role within the IFA can only help with the nurturing of talent at the Riverside and he insists that the current crop of players at the club have the quality to survive their relegation woes.
The former ‘Stute boss, is relishing his latest role at the club and believes he has plenty to offer in terms of experience.
“I’m looking forward to helping the club as best I can,” said Kee. “We’ve got 10 games left in the next eight weeks so I plan on bringing a bit of experience. I’m local and I’ve been at the club before so I’ll help Alan Blair as much as I can.
“I’m still contracted to the IFA, that’s my main job,” he added. “I’m lucky to be involved in the IFA and enjoy my work. I’ll be working at Institute on Thursdays and Saturdays and set aside 10 hours to speak to the players and do preparation work and work with the coaches. I will be looking at and identifying players that can fit the bill and can fit into our wage structure and do as much core work with the first team.
“I might not have a lot of time but I’ll be able to add a bit of beef to what’s going on at the club already. They’ve been inconsistent and seem to be lacking in confidence so that’s one of the first things that need addressed.”
Following demoralising back-to-back defeats to Glebe Rangers and Dergview over the past fortnight, Kee is under no illusions as to the size of the task at hand but having been an interested spectator at the Riverside this season, he believes the players can rise to the challenge.
“I don’t have a winning formula and I don’t have a magic wand but I know what’s required,” he said. “There’s a number of players with Premier League experience at the club so I’ve no doubt the quality is there, but I’m here to examine the reasons behind the slide in performances and help improve that.
“Alan Blair is giving it a good blast, he’s new in management, he’s managed the reserves but it’s his first time at this level.
“All I can do is try and lift the standards and hopefully the players will respond. I wouldn’t take on the role if I didn’t think I could help stop the rot and turn things around. There’s enough spirit, quality and experience at the club so it’s a good challenge.
“I’ve been involved with the club before and they are going in the right direction having put significant investment into developing the ground so we’ll try and get things right on the pitch.”
Club Chairman, Trevor Hewitt was delighted to get Kee on board following ongoing discussions with the IFA about his role at the club and he hopes the appointment will be well received by Institute supporters.
“We would like to thank the IFA for getting the issue sorted quickly,” said Hewitt. “Paul will take on the role as Head of Development and will be on the sidelines for Saturday’s home game against H&W Welders alongside team manager, Alan Blair. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who declared their interest in the job.
“We hope this appointment will be well received at the Riverside and hope the fans of the club can show their support in numbers at Saturday’s game.”