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Waterford FC is delighted to announce the signing of former Republic of Ireland U21 goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin. The 25-year-old joins Derek Daly, Jake Evans, Tom Smith and Kenny Browne who have all joined the club today ahead of the SSE Airtricity League First Division opener against Athlone Town this coming Friday.

The 6’4” goalkeeper joins the club having made the move to Ipswich Town from Dublin’s St Francis at 17. McLoughlin impressed while on trial with the Portman Road club and signed a pro contract in February 2009, before signing an extension the following season.

McLoughlin’s two years with Ipswich (which included short loans moves to Lowestoft Town and Stockport County) ended with a move to MK Dons in 2011—where further loan spells with Walsall and Newport County followed. McLoughlin has been capped by the Republic of Ireland at all levels up to the U21s where he featured heavily in the 2011/12 UEFA European Under 21 Championship Qualifiers.

Speaking on his move to the Blues and on his recovery from a season long injury, McLoughlin commented:

“I’m happy to have this opportunity at Waterford this season. I’m happy to be back playing and whilst I’m a little bit behind fitness wise, I’ll hopefully hit the ground running and will do whatever I can to help Waterford get promoted.

McLoughlin, who hails from Dublin but has his family back in England is hoping to re-establish himself as one of the top goalkeeping prospects in Ireland:

“I’ve been out for a while now and have my young family back in England so my long-term aim is to get back to where I was before the injury and push on to play at the highest level possible.

“I’ve worked hard to not give up, I’ve tested myself a lot over the past year and shown my character to fight back, it’s not in my make-up to just give up.”

McLoughlin had offers across the water but spoke about why he chose Waterford:

“I’ve had offers in England and Scotland but the timing of this move works for me. I’ve a chance to get a season under my belt now back home in Ireland rather than ten weeks or so which would have been the case across the water. Ultimately I want to work my way back there but I want to help Waterford realise their ambitions this season and get the club promoted.”

On what Blues fans can expect from their new shotstopper, McLoughlin added:

“I see myself as a commanding goalkeeper but one who likes to keep the ball moving, launching attacks quickly out from the back. I feel I can fit in well with the team and hope we can all have a season to remember.”

Waterford’s latest addition brings the squad size to 23 ahead of the league opener this Friday night v Athlone Town.

WFC 2017 First Team Squad:

Ian McLoughlin, Matthew Connor, Robin Dempsey, Conor Whittle, Jake Evans, Dave Mulcahy, Patrick McClean, Gary Delaney, Kenny Browne, Jack Lynch, Shane O’Connor, Garry Comerford, Anthony McAlavey, Tom Smith, Tunmise Sobowale, Dean O’Halloran, Kenny McEvoy, Derek Daly, Owen Wall, Sander Puri, Mark O’Sullivan, David McDaid, Dean Walsh

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