Waterford FC announce signing of Damien Delaney
Former Ireland defender spent the second half of last season with Cork City
Waterford FC have announced the signing of Damien Delaney. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Former Republic of Ireland international Damien Delaney, who returned home after a long and successful career in England to join his hometown club Cork City last season, has signed for Waterford.
The 37-year-old defender made more than 30 appearances for Crystal Palace over the course of the 2016/17 season and a handful during the following campaign before finally leaving London, but his stay at Cork ended in disappointment with the player not featuring prominently after a poor performance at Bohemians in September.
Clearly believing he has a better season at this level left in him, he has become the latest player to sign for Alan Reynolds, who sees the vast experience he brings as an important part of his value to a club that will be looking to build on last year’s fourth place finish in the Premier Division.
“I’m delighted to be able to bring Damien to the club,” says the manager. “He’s a top professional and he can see what we’re trying to do here. The experience that Damien will bring to the club is invaluable; he’s spent almost his whole career in the UK and the majority of the past five years playing in the Premier League.
“With European football this season, too, it was important to add experience to our squad to compliment other areas, and Damien fits the bill for us. Damien will be important to us to help bring our younger players on too so it’s great to welcome him to the club.”
Delaney himself suggests he still has the hunger to play competitively. “I finished with Cork in November,” he says, “and enjoyed Christmas but I can’t wait to be back at it, back to work and looking forward to the season ahead.
“I spoke to Alan and he told me the plans he has for the club and I want to be part of it. I played against the club last season of course and the pitch is excellent and they were a good footballing side, and I feel I still have a lot to give so it’s great to be able to come in.
“Europe is massive for the club, too. The club did so well last season and deserve to be playing in Europe in 2019. I feel I can contribute to that and I’m really happy to do so.”
Elsewhere, Dylan Connolly has completed his move from Dundalk to League One club AFC Wimbledon.