Pic3On Wednesday last nine players signed for Waterford United as planning for the new season continues apace. The signings continued on Friday when four more players out pen to paper.
The signings bring the squad up to seventeen with Sean Byrne, Philly Gorman, Roddy Collins Jr. and Anthony McAlavey having already been confirmed as part of the First Division squad.
As well as McAlavey, Waterford United have re-signed midfielder Thomas Croke. Thomas has been at the club since the start of the 2014 season, making eighteen league appearances before injury ended his season last year. Joining him is fellow midfielder Dean Reidy, who played in twenty-six league games after re-joining the side at the start of last year.
Colum Nugent also re-signs having joined the club in August 2015 and finished the First Division campaign with eight league appearances.
U19 players Aaron O’Connor, Robbie Buckley and Shane Makey have also been retained by Roddy Collins, with the Blues boss saying that he was “delighted that all the young lads have decided to stay on board for the coming season.”
Goalkeeper Kevin Burns has also re-joined Waterford United in what will be his third spell at the club, having made his debut in the 2009 season for the Blues. Making fifty-four league appearances in three seasons, Kevin signed for Cork City ahead of the 2012 campaign, but played in just three league games during his two-year stay. In December 2014, Kevin returned to Waterford United and was the first choice keeper as he made twenty-four league appearances before leaving at the end of the season.
The Blues have also completed the signings of Jimmy Dermody from Wexford Youths and goalkeeper Corey Chambers from Bray Wanderers. Jimmy played seventeen times as Wexford were crowned First Division champions last year and ends a four-and-a-half year association with the club.
Corey, meanwhile, appeared several times on the bench for Bray last season and was also a part of the Republic of Ireland u18 squad that faced the Czech Republic last year.
Darren Murphy signed on Friday as did Roy Butler, Dean Broaders and Robert Birdsall. Murphy played with the club last season but he broke his foot playing against UCD in Belfield and as a result missed out on the majority of the campaign but he is now fully recovered.
Roy Butler was voted Waterford United’s Under 19 “Player of the Year” last season. Dean Broaders has played with Wexford Youths for the past number of seasons. Robert Birdsall lined out for the club last year and he will be one of three goalkeepers striving to make a bid for the No 1 jersey.
With the Blues also confirming they are in talks with former Bohemians midfielder James O’Brien, who played under Collins at Athlone Town, the Waterford squad is beginning to take shape with Collins saying to the club’s media that he’d like to “thank the supporters for their patience as we have been working hard behind the scenes to get things done right”.
“There are a couple of things that need to be tied down in the coming days but we will be in a position to name further signings over the course of the coming weeks”.
And Waterford United fans won’t have to wait long to see their team in action as Roddy Collins was delighted “to invite the fans to an open meet and greet training session with the players at Carriganore on Wednesday, February 3rd, at 6pm.”
“It’s important that the fans get the chance to see our plans for the season and I’m really excited that things are coming together nicely,” said the charismatic boss. The second pre-season game for the Blues will be played at the RSC on Friday with Cork City providing the opposition. Kick-off is at 7pm.