Deputy Mayor of Waterford City & County Council, Cllr. John Cummins pictured with the Waterford FC First team manager, Alan Reynolds and players, Matthew Connor, Dean O’Halloran and Dean Walsh. Photo: Noel Browne.
After lifting the SSE Airtricity First Division title and the Mark Farren Under 17 Cup, Waterford FC were recognised at City Hall on Wednesday evening last as the Blues were afforded a Mayoral reception to mark their achievements.
With Mayor Pat Nugent engaged at another function, Deputy Mayor John Cummins said, “I’m thrilled and honoured to host this reception today. To win the league and promotion was a wonderful achievement and when the idea of a Mayoral Reception was mooted all the councillors were unanimous with their decision to honour the club.
“To see two national trophies here this evening is fantastic, and I would like to congratulate the Under 17 team also for what they achieved this season and the way they did it by playing some wonderful football, so this reception is to congratulate you all on behalf of the people of Waterford on a fantastic season.”
“Alan Reynolds, Pat Fenlon and of course Lee Power have brought a new belief to the club and they deserve major credit. I would like to pay tribute to the players who played a part during the season. Some of them moved on during the campaign and some new players came in and we mustn’t forget their contribution.
“I’m a season ticket holder myself so it was great to see many top displays at the RSC last season and like a lot of other people, I’m really looking forward to the Premier League. We belong at the top and it’s wonderful that we are back with the big boy’s once again.
“To see clubs like Dundalk, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers coming to Waterford once again is something to really look forward to. Some of us here this evening can remember the great days of the past when we were playing teams like Manchester United and Celtic in the European Cup.
“We all heard what Lee Power said after the match against Longford Town at the RSC. He said he wanted to target a European place so no pressure on you Alan (Reynolds). When the budget debates arise here I can assure you that the entire council will be fully behind keeping the facilities at the RSC in pristine condition and we will not be found wanting when it comes to that side of things.”
Speaking on the night, Waterford FC First Team Coach Alan Reynolds said, “This is a wonderful occasion for Waterford FC and to be honoured in your own city and county is amazing. It would be fair to say that the players and management get most of the credit during the season and at nights like this, but we could not do it without the amazing help of the backroom staff and the volunteers.
“Michael Walsh and John Frost would be two examples but having said that I could stay here all night thanking people who work day in and day out for the club without getting or indeed seeking praise or kudos. They are the real heroes.
“It was great to hear John Cummins speak about keeping the RSC in top class condition and I would like to thank the council and of course people like Darren Sealy who work so hard to keep the venue in such brilliant condition.
“I was delighted when Darren and his staff picked up the “League of Ireland Pitch of the Year” award a few weeks ago. They certainly deserved that honour. We are building a team for the new season which gets underway in mid-February.
“We will be playing pre-season games in January, so we have not really stopped working since we won promotion and we will do all we can to get in players which will see us competing well in the Premier League come 2018.”