Rory Feely and Batien Héry with Shane Murphy and Ray Malone of the Blues Supporters Club. Photo: Noel Browne.
The curtain came down on a quite remarkable first season back in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division for Waterford FC last Friday week as the Blues finished in an impressive fourth position in the table which was good enough to yield European football in 2019.
It’s amazing to think how far the club has come since Lee Power took over two years ago and with Power confirmed that he is staying for the long haul, it’s certainly an exciting time to be a follower of the Blues especially as the club prepare for a return to Europe for the first time since 1986.
Friday night last was all about celebrations with the club hosting an end of season after party at the newly refurnished Factory Nightclub where the Blues Supporters Club presented the 2018 Player of the year accolades for Senior, Young and goal of the season were presented.
There were double celebrations for Bastien Héry as he capped off a brilliant season when he was named the 2018 Senior Player of the year to which there could be no complaints whatsoever. Héry was brilliant throughout the season where he was the main man against the big teams and wasn’t found wanting. He beat off stiff opposition in Stanley Aborah, Sander Puri and Kenny Browne.
The Frenchman was also awarded with the goal of the season award as his amazing strike in a 2-0 February win against St. Patrick’s Athletic was undoubtedly an easy choice in the end for the supporters with Sander Puri also scoring a cracking goal against Derry City in May.
The Milo Corcoran Young Player of the year award was a much tougher vote for fans as Dylan Barnett, Matthew Connor, Courtney Duffus and Rory Feely fought it out for the supporters votes and it was Rory Feely that came out on top narrowly. Feely was consistent at right-full back throughout the course of the season with some excellent displays.
The second ever Eoin Burke Memorial Under 15 Player of the year was presented at the final home game against Limerick where Deirdre Burke, wife of the late Eoin, was on hand to present the award to Jack Deegan, who had an excellent season. Deegan beat off stiff competition in Jamie Lee, Eoin O’Brien and Lakon Oki for the award.
Four players that were in the running for the Blues Supporters Club Under 19 player of the year accolade, named after Walter Walsh, who was a member of the Blues side that won the first FAI Cup back in 1937.
In the mix to land the top prize were Darragh Power, Darryl Walsh, Shane Griffin and Jack Larkin, it was the Blues midfielder Shane Griffin that was crowned the latest winner of the Walter Walsh Memorial U-19 player with Conor Coad presenting him with the award.
The family of the late Noel Burke were on hand to present the Noel Burke Memorial Under 17 player of the year where the winner for 2018 was Niall O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe was joined Alex Phelan, Sean Tracey and Greg Waters with Davy Burke presenting the award to him after an excellent season.