After last coaching in the League of Ireland with Wexford FC, former Blue David Breen is expected to be announced as assistant manager to Ian Morris this week.
Waterford FC are back on the training ground at the WT Arena in recent weeks as they prepare for life in the SSE Airtricity First Division, and for manager Ian Morris, he believes that his side are frontrunners to win promotion back to the top flight.
With the Blues boss making the move from the RSC after leading Shelbourne back to the Premier Division last season, the 34-year-old is now hopeful that the Blues can win a place back at the top table at the first attempt with their campaign getting underway on February 18 with an away game against Athlone Town.
After Waterford owner Richard Forrest took his time in appointing the manager the week before Christmas, the fact that the club, at the time of going to print, have named 13 of last year’s squad for the challenge ahead, is definitely a sign of intent.
David Breen during his playing days with the Blues.
BREEN FOR NO. 2
Morris has taken to the WIT training ground with the Blues where he has began to learn more about the players that he will have at his disposal for the season ahead, and with further experience additions in the coming weeks, there’s certainly a degree of optimism locally.
That could be further enhanced over the coming days as it’s expected that former Waterford player David Breen will be named as Morris’ assistant alongside both Gary Hunt and goalkeeping coach Dirk Heinen, whilst Shane Nolan, who was a right-hand man to Marc Bircham last season, is also expected to be involved.
Although it was originally hoped that Fran Rockett could return to the club after spending last season at Cobh Ramblers, this didn’t transpire as many would have liked, and after Dave Henderson was also linked to the assistants’ role, it now seems likely that Breen, currently managing locally with Hibernians, will accept the role.
This will be another excellent move from owner Forrest and the club as they bring another cog in the local wheel back to the fore with Breen’s experience of the First Division vital as he was also coach in recent times with First Division side Wexford.
AN AIR OF HOPE
In an interview in the past week with Owen Cowzer of the Irish Sun, Morris outlined that he believes that his side will looking to get promoted in the first year back. “I’ve never been shy in stating what I want to do,” said Morris. ”I want to win. I want to get medals. I want to get promoted.” And these words will be music to the Waterford fans’ ears.
“I know others may play the longer game. But there is no point hiding what you want to do in my opinion. And signings like Brian Murphy speak for themselves and that is no disrespect to Paul Martin, who played games in the Premier Division last year.
He told Cowzer that: “It’s been a long Christmas but a short amount of time. I was obviously late in there, in terms of recruitment so we had to get jobs done and players over the line. It’s all very time-consuming, it’s a lot of work, but the staff and club have been fantastic.
“I was trying to get across how I work, what our goals are and what we’ll bring to the club and where the club is going. There was a little bit of apprehension though I’m delighted with those that we’ve kept. I had questions that I needed answered, things I needed confirmed. I got reassurances and we can look forward.”
Ian Morris is not denying the fact that he thinks the Blues are leading contenders to make an immediate return to the Premier Division in 2022. Photo: Inpho.