Waterford United F.C.

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Waterford United
Waterford United crest
Full name Waterford United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Blues
Founded 1930
Ground Waterford Regional Sports Centre,
Waterford,
Ireland
Ground Capacity 5,500 (3,100 seats)
Chairman John O'Sullivan
Manager Tommy Griffin
League League of Ireland
(First Division)
2013 4th
Website Club home page

Waterford United (Irish: Cumann Peile Aontaithe Phort Láirge) is an Irish football club playing in the First Division of the League of Ireland.[1] The club was founded and elected to the league in 1930[2] and hail from Waterford. Originally the club was based at Kilcohan Park greyhound stadium, but have now moved to the Waterford Regional Sports Centre. Club colours are blue and white, and the club goes by the nicknames 'The Blues' or 'United'.

History[edit]

Waterford F.C. 1930–1982[edit]

Waterford first participated in the league in the 1930–1931 season finishing ninth and again from 1931–1932 before dropping out of the league for two seasons. Waterford re-entered the league in the 1935–1936 season along with Sligo Rovers. Waterford FC won the Shield in their first season.

Waterford won the FAI cup for the first time in their history in 1937 beating St. James Gate and also won the Shield.

The club were league runners up in 1937–1938 season and again in the 1940–1941 season. Both Waterford and League winners Cork United finished on equal points but Cork were awarded the title as Waterford were unable to compete in the play-off due to a dispute regarding payment to players. At the end of the campaign, the original Waterford FC resigned from the League of Ireland, only for a new entity, with the same name, to be elected in, for 1944–1945 season. Waterford won the Shield again in the 1952–1953 season and were again runners-up in the League this time to St. Patricks Athletic in the 1954–1955 season and again in the 1962–1963 season.

The club eventually won the league title for the first time in the 1965–1966 season, (under manager Paddy Coad) setting a then league record of 13 straight league victories. The 1965/66 title was the beginning of a hugely successful spell for the club domestically. The following season they played in the preliminary round of the Champions cup against Vorwärts Berlin, an East German and Army side, losing 6–1 at Dalymount Park and 6–0 in East Berlin.

They won the Shield once again in 1968 –1969 season. Waterford won the league title three times in a row, in 1968,1969 and in 1970. The title was won by Cork Hibernians in 1971 but returned to Waterford in the 1971–1972 season and again in the 1972–1973 season.

The following season Waterford won the League of Ireland Cup, however failed to regain the league title. The Club won the FAI Cup in 1980 beating St. Patricks Athletic with the winner from Brian Gardner. Waterford's success in the league brought European football playing against famous clubs such as Manchester United and Celtic. Bobby Charlton had a brief spell at the club in 1976, playing three times and scoring one goal.

Waterford United 1982–present[edit]

In May 1982, the Club changed its name to Waterford United FC. Alfie Hale was appointed manager. In 1985 the league's membership rose to 22 clubs with the election of six new clubs in 1985. This resulted in the introduction of the present two Division (Premier and First) structure in 1985/86 of which Waterford was a member of the Premier Division. Waterford were relegated to the First Division in the 1988–1989 season. Their stay there was short, gaining promotion and winning the First Division title the following season 1989–1990. They were unable to retain their Premier Division status the following season finishing in eleventh.

The club was promoted to the top flight in the 1991–1992 season finishing as runners up to Limerick. But again the club were unable to remain in the Premier Division for more than a single season suffering relegation on goal difference to Drogheda United.

Waterford United were promoted to the Premier Division, finishing top of the First Division in the 1997–1998 season and remained there until the 1999–2000 season suffering relegation in the playoffs to Kilkenny City. They were promoted to the Premier Division again in the 2002–2003 season.

The Blues reached the FAI Cup Final in 2004, their first since 1986 under Alan Reynolds but lost 2–1.

In 2006 Waterford United were relegated to the First Division. The F.A.I took over the running of the League of Ireland at the end of the 2006 season. Part of this takeover involved the assessment of all League of Ireland sides and the manner in which they were being run including finances, infrastructure, future plans, marketability and previous finishing positions since the 2002 season, (this was due to Kildare County only joining the Eircom League in 2002). Despite finishing in 11th and last place ( Dublin City being the 12th team in the league and subsequently folding during the season) the club were forced to play a relegation/promotion playoff against Dundalk. Despite being defeated Waterford United still stood a chance of remaining a Premier Division side due to the FAI assessment. However on 8 December 2006 the FAI decided to relegate Waterford to the 1st Division with Shamrock Rovers and Galway United replacing them and the now defunct Dublin City.

Dundalk, despite beating Waterford in a playoff, were controversially overlooked and remained in the First Division. However on 20 February[when?] it was announced that Waterford United had been invited to participate in the Premier Division for the forthcoming season. Club secretary Larry Gough stated "The club considered the proposal carefully and decided to accept the invitation in the best interests of football in Waterford and the eircom league". However, The "Blues" were unfortunately relegated that season via the play-offs losing 6–3 on aggregate to Finn Harps.

After the dejection of relegation the "Blues" went into the 2008 season knowing that only one team from the First Division would be promoted and three from the Premier Division as the FAI look to revamp the league. A valiant effort from Cronin's Blues saw them come so close yet so far as the "Blues" fell away towards the business end of the season leaving Dundalk and Shelbourne in a two horse race come the final day of the season. In 2009 former Bohemians player, Stephen Henderson took over as boss at the Club and in his first season, the Blues narrowly missed out yet again for the playoffs and reached the League Cup Final and the FAI Cup semi finals. Henderson recently signed a 1 year extension to his contract for the 2010 season. In May 2011 Henderson was relieved of his duties after a string of poor results. Waterford native, Paul O'Brien was appointed manager for the duration of the season. Waterford United FC finished 5th in the 2011 Airtricity League First Division. The board in the off season then appointed Paul as full-time boss on a year contract for the 2012 season.

Personnel[edit]

Board members[edit]

Directors: Chris Everett and Michael Drohan

Honorary President: Bertie Rogers

Management Committee: Tony Burke, John Douglas, Michael Drohan, Chris Everett, Greg Pheasey, Larry Gough, John O'Driscoll, John O'Sullivan, Ray Scott, Sam White.


Staff[edit]

Directors: Chris Everett, Michael Drohan

Honorary President: Bertie Rogers

Club Administrator: Michael Drohan

The Board: John Sullivan - Chairman and Head of Governance Tony Burke - Head of Finance Larry Gough - Head of Communications & Community Greg Pheasey - Head of Technical Sam White - Head of Infrastructure

Hon Secretary: Ray Scott

UEFA Licensing Officer: Chris Everett

Media Officer: John Kehoe

Event Controller: Mark Dunne

Safety Officer:Padraigh Dunne

Chief of Security: David Simpson

Doctor: Dr. Jorge Alcalá

Physiotherapist: Chris Morrissey

Club Administrator: Michael Drohan

Stadium Announcer: Michael Butler

Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Republic of Ireland GK Craig Hyland
Republic of Ireland GK Matthew Connor
Republic of Ireland GK Kevin Burns
Northern Ireland DF Séamus Long
Republic of Ireland DF Gary Delaney
Republic of Ireland DF Francis Rockett
Republic of Ireland DF Paul Carey
Republic of Ireland DF Gavin Kavanagh
Republic of Ireland DF John Frost
Republic of Ireland DF Michael Coady
Republic of Ireland MF Conor Whittle
Republic of Ireland MF Peter White
Republic of Ireland MF Thomas Croke
No. Position Player
Republic of Ireland MF Aidan McGrath
Republic of Ireland MF Shane Murray
Republic of Ireland MF Peter Higgins
Republic of Ireland MF Gary Dunphy
Republic of Ireland MF Kevin O'Connor
Republic of Ireland MF Conor Coad
Australia MF Dylan Mernagh
Republic of Ireland FW Willie John Kiely
Republic of Ireland FW Ben Ryan
Republic of Ireland FW Vinny Sullivan (captain)
Republic of Ireland FW Gary Keane
Republic of Ireland FW Paul Quilty
Republic of Ireland FW Conor Meade

Technical staff[edit]

Manager: Tommy Griffin

Assistant Manager/Goalkeeping Coach: Billy Hearne

First Team Coach: Alan Barry

U19 Manager: Johnny Browne

U19 Coach: Declan Howlett

Club Doctor: Dr. Eithne Brenner

Physio: Chris Morrissey

U19 Physio: Seamus Conway

Equipment Manager: Michael Walsh

Fans[edit]

The club draws its support not only from Waterford City, but also from Waterford County and the South East region as a whole. WUFC fans have organised themselves into 3 fan groups.

Groups[edit]

Blues Supporter Club (B.S.C)

The Blues Supporters Club, which is the official Waterford United fans group was formed in December 2009 after members of the IBSC (Independent Blues Supporters Club) voted to become an official fans group. From the 2010 season, the BSC organises transport for Blues fans to away games, run the Club shop as well as organise numerous fund raising activities and other match day activities for Waterford United. There is also a branch of the BSC based in Dungarvan that accommodates Blues fans living in West Waterford. Membership is still open for the 2011 season and information can be found on Waterford United's home page. Long time Blues fan, Owen Tubbritt, was appointed PRO in December 2009. Current chairperson of the BSC is Julieanne Leahy.

Dublin Blues Supporters Club (DBSC)

The DBSC was formed in January 2007 as an independent outlet for Dublin and East Leinster based Waterford United fans. The DBSC organises transport, usually trains for Dublin based fans to away matches. Despite repeated attempts by the BSC to co-opt the DBSC into its organisation, the DBSC President, Comrade Leader Niall Doherty announced publicly that the DBSC would remain an independent supporters group. The DBSC operated a fan run radio station, Radio DBSC, established in May 2012 which provided internet radio commentary for Waterford United away games. In December 2013, the Radio DBSC Board voted to align itself with local radio station OpenTempo 105.1FM rebranding itself under the name, OpenTempo FM Sports Online. (they also broadcast local American Football Club, Waterford Wolves Matches, home and away.)

Blue Army "Ultras" (BAU)

The BAU was formed in January 2006 to bring an Italian-style Ultra atmosphere to the RSC and to away matches. The BAU is noticeable in its presence with its flag waving and chanting. The BAU in 2008 formed an alliance with the Lyngby BK Ultras of Denmark with its members attending travelling to Denmark to attend Lyngby BK games every season and vice versa. The BAU currently resides in Block E of the West Stand also known as the main stand and the old stand.

Honours[edit]

Senior[edit]

  • Munster Senior Cup: 15
    • 1934–35, 1945–46* 1947–48, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1975–76, 1980–81, 1985–86, 1986–87, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013

U-21[edit]

  • U-21 League titles: 1
    • 2002
  • U-21 Cups: 1
    • 2002

European record[edit]

Competition Played Win Draw Lost For Against
European Cup 14 3 0 11 15 47
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 8 1 1 6 6 14
Total 22 4 1 17 21 61
Competition Opponents Home Away Agg.
European Cup 1966-67

Preliminary Round

East Germany Vorwärts Berlin 1–6 0–6 1–12
European Cup 1968-69

Round One

England Manchester United 1–3 1–7 2–10
European Cup 1969-70

Round One

Turkey Galatasaray SK 2–3 0–2 2–5
European Cup 1970-71

Round One

Northern Ireland Glentoran 1–0 3–1 4–1
European Cup 1970-71

Round Two

Scotland Celtic 0–7 2–3 2–10
European Cup 1972-73

Round One

Cyprus AC Omonia 0–2 2–1 2–3
European Cup 1973-74

Round One

Hungary Újpest FC 2–3 0–3 2–6
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1979-80

Round One

Sweden IFK Göteborg 1–1 0–1 1–2
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1980-81

Round One

Malta Hibernians 4–0 0–1 4–1
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1980-81

Round Two

Soviet Union FC Dinamo Tbilisi 0–1 0–4 0–5
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1986-87

Round One

France FC Girondins de Bordeaux 1–2 0–4 1–6

Selected former players[edit]

Former managers[edit]

see also Category:Waterford United F.C. managers

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fixture/result list from the FAI showing Waterford
  2. ^ "Club Profile, Waterford United". Eircom League Of Ireland. Retrieved 28 September 2008. [dead link]

External links[edit]