Although Waterford United’s season tailed off during the last four weeks there was an air of goodwill and a feel food factor in the damp air at the RSC on Saturday night last.
Prior to the meeting with Kildare County, the club announced that Stephen Henderson had signed a twelve month extension to his rolling contract with the club and that news was warmly received by the supporters of Waterford United.
It was also announced that John O’Sullivan had been appointed chairman and that appointment was also greeted with a great deal of approval by fans of the Blues.
Henderson has been through a lot during recent weeks but he was far from downbeat when he spoke following the 2-0 victory over Kildare County.
However, he was keen to play down his decision to stay with the club and put to bed once and for all the rumours that he was being head hunted by other clubs in the League of Ireland.
“I am delighted to be asked to sign the new contract,” he said. “It’s not a big deal from my point of view. I never intended leaving because I am working with some great people here. John (O’Sullivan) and myself spoke during the course of the week and we both agreed that our work here has just begun.
“John was pretty down following the recent results but we talked through everything in detail and now we will move on together and bring this club back to where it belongs. We will try and keep a lot of players on the books and also bring in new players who will get us a few more goals.
He added: “We did not score enough this season and that fact cost us a play-off place and promotion. We missed a lot of goals here tonight against Kildare and that is something that has been a problem all season to be honest.
“When we improve that aspect of our game we will not be knocking at the door. We will be walking through the door.”
The majority of clubs in both divisions are struggling to say afloat and with that in mind, Stephen Henderson heaped praise on his club when it comes to this pressing issue.
“Our budget is tight but we have never had a problem this season and not a lot of clubs can say that,” he said.
“We have been realistic and there was never a week when we did not get paid. We have been treated brilliantly on away trips also and the players appreciate that.
“Because of the manner in which the club was run this season there is no doubt that Waterford United has become an attractive club once again and that will help when trying to bring in new players. Needless to say other clubs will want some of our players also but the indications are good that they will remain on with us for next season.”
When he became manager of Waterford United on December 23rd, 2008, Stephen Henderson had very little time to build a squad because only one player (David Grincell) had been signed at that time.
“It was a hard task trying to build a new squad in such a short space of time and although we are all disappointed not to feature in the league shake-up, reaching a cup final and a cup semi final with such a small squad was pretty good.
“We had three sell out games here at the RSC and we featured in some great games. We do need a proper place to train because we had to use four or five different places this season and that was not ideal.
“I also want to get more involved in the local scene. By that I mean checking out local players in a proper manner, something time did not allow me this season. I am excited by what lies ahead.
“The committee here are some of the hardest working people I have met in football. Their work rate is unbelievable and now that John O’Sullivan is leading them, the future is bright for the club.
“As I said at the outset I am thrilled to sign the new contract and crack on immediately with the task at hand. We are all shattered right now because it has been a long hard season but we are raring to go once again because that is the kind of club we are, and the work starts right now building a new squad.”