Patrick McClean is one player looking forward to the new season. Photo: Waterford FC.
WATERFORD FC LEAGUE OF IRELAND PREVIEW
The signing of Patrick McClean from Derry City was one that certainly got a lot of attention, as the younger brother of Republic of Ireland and West Brom star James left his native home to join the rebranded Waterford FC
McClean is a player that is sure to become a fans’ favourite and he has settled in at the heart of the defence in pre-season where he has also played a skipper’s role but more importantly he is now looking forward to helping lead the Blues back to the Premier division.
“I thought it was great to meet some of the fans the other night and it meant a lot to one young lad who travelled all the way from my home town to meet me. It means a lot to the fans as well as the players what’s going on here in Waterford and I’m really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.
“We are getting down to serious stuff now and we’re all looking forward to it. Training has been very good and I’m happy to be here. When I heard about it all, I was a bit wary to be honest but when I came down here and saw the standard of the player that we’ve signed, I’m really delighted to be here.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how we get on. There is a lot of expectations that we are going to be promoted but we have to manage that. It’s obviously be pushing for it but we know that we have a battle on our hands so we’ll see how it goes.”
‘NOTHING FOR GRANTED’
“I’ve settled in very quickly and the lads had me captain the first few games which took me by surprise. I really didn’t know what was going on but you know everyone has been so nice to me and I’m excited for the next nine months or so.
“The first couple of games you would be hoping for a win and hopefully we can go and do that. We won’t be taking anything for granted against Athlone Town. It will be a tough place to go but if we can go away and win it would set us up nicely for the home game against Cabinteely.
“It would be nice to bring home three points against Athlone and get the crowd behind us so we’re hoping that we can go into the first game of the season and do well. That’s the big thing that we put in a performance that sets down a marker for the season ahead.”
Colm Cross of Athlone Town FC and Shane O’Connor of Waterford FC in attendance at the SSE Airtricity League Launch 2017 at the Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road in Dublin. See this week’s paper for a bumper preview of the Blues’ new season which gets underway on Friday night. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile.