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Chairman Andy Pilley sat down with the club on Monday afternoon and gave a general update on all things Waterford to the supporters ahead of the upcoming season. 

On the uptake of season tickets and our partnership with Ticketmaster… 

“First of all, I would like to say how delighted I am with the uptake of season tickets, it’s far exceeded our expectations and has smashed last year’s figure in the first week. It feels like that feel-good factor is still there and the supporters are there to back the club. Hopefully, people will continue to back us and commit ahead of the new season as it does help massively. 

“In terms of off-the-field activity, we’ve invested in Ticketmaster which is probably the best of the best ticketing systems out there which will help us as we plan to be as organised as we can. We are making moves, with more being revealed in the next few days which will be hugely positive, but I would like to pass on my thanks to all the supporters who have committed to us next season.

“I’m excited and full of optimism and, let’s face it, if you aren’t optimistic in pre-season, you never will be! It’s great to have a derby match to start with and we are looking forward to the first game of the season – we can’t wait to get stuck in once again. It’s my job and Danny [Searle]’s job to get the right players in.

“We trust Danny implicitly to fine-tune them and get them organised, create a winning mentality, and find ways to win football matches and deliver towards the goal that we are all committed to. My message to everyone is loud and clear, get involved as it’s going to be exciting, memorable, and I can promise that it won’t be dull.”

On the squad and Phoenix Patterson moving to Fleetwood… 

“With regards to work on the field, we are delighted to say that the majority of the players will be staying on from last season and have a solid base to build on. There are several omissions and with that we thank them with a sincere handshake and a thank you for their efforts, but one I get asked about all the time is Phoenix Patterson.

“I feel it’s appropriate that we put everybody in the picture and let the Waterford supporters know that Phoenix has left the club and will be moving to Fleetwood to play in League One in England next season, he was a standout player last season, and we are delighted about him moving over.

“After what he achieved last season and the fact we didn’t get promoted, it would have been unfair not to allow Phoenix to move on to develop his huge potential at a higher level. I’m just delighted we’ve been able to keep him in the group.”

“We are very close to some exciting new signings who we expect to commit pen-to-paper very soon; I am delighted with what we have managed to do so far but this is not a race, this is a case of getting the best players possible. 

“I’ve learned a lot in my 19 years of football club ownership, and I don’t want to fill the bus with 5-6 weeks to go, we’ve got to make sure we have some vacancies as we know that there will be some quality players that will become available and if we have no space left whatsoever, that causes an issue.”

On the bond between the two clubs and the common pathway… 

“I made it clear at the Fans’ Forum and I will make it clear every time I address the press, supporters, and sponsors that the model is the English club will support Waterford with players that need gametime and will help Waterford towards sporting success. 

“We also want to have this pathway that if players are excelling in the Irish league, we want to bring them across to the English Football League and, who knows, if they do well in League One, they may find themselves in the Championship or the Premier League. 

“That is the model and I want to shout that from the rooftops to all the top players in Ireland, if you want to get to England then Waterford is a great place to play because the common ownership means that, if you are good enough, and if you can deliver at Waterford and help the club to the sporting success we all long for, then you could have an opportunity to move over to England.”


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