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Waterford FC are pleased to announce that Matt Lawlor has joined the club as interim Assistant Manager.

The Englishman joins the Blues having played a vital role as the Under 21s manager of our sister-club, Fleetwood Town, spending almost five years with the Cod Army.

Lawlor, who enjoyed a long playing career in English football’s non-league, joined the Cods as a Youth Development phase lead coach, before moving into the Head of Coaching & Player Development for 18 months. Matt then became the U21 Lead Coach at the end of 2022 with the club, a position he has held since.

A hugely impressive young coach, with a wealth of player development experience, the new Blues assistant coach has worked with a number of current & former Blues already – including the likes of Tom Donaghy, Chris Conn-Clarke, Maleace Asamoah, Harvey Macadam and current first-team captain Barry Baggley.

Lawlor took first-team responsibilities for Fleetwood Town as Caretaker Manager in September 2023, as he helped his side defeat Tranmere Rovers 2-0 in the EFL Trophy – a game that saw former Blue Phoenix Patterson net the second for Lawlor’s side.

The new assistant boss spent time working with Blues manager Keith Long during Waterford’s pre season tour in January and the pair struck up a rapport which has led to this appointment following the departure of Alan Reynolds last week. 

Speaking on his appointment, Matt was thrilled at the opportunity to join the Blues:

“I’m really excited to be here at Waterford. It’s a huge opportunity to become assistant manager within first-team football with Waterford. It’s something that I jumped at because it excites me. It’s something I wanted to come and do.”

“It’s a big change for me; moving countries, leaving family behind, but that shows how committed I am to the club. It’s been a busy few days, but it’s been brilliant so far. I couldn’t get over how good the facilities are [at the RSC & SETU Arena] – I was told about them from afar from Fleetwood’s various underage teams that have come here in the past, but I’ve never experienced them until now.”

“I met Keith back in January, and we spoke about me coming across to Waterford to get experience and seeing what it’s like over here. So now to have that opportunity to work with someone like Keith who has been in the game for so long & how successful he’s been is great to have. I’ll learn from Keith, but I’ll also to help him and add something to the club – I firmly believe I can do that.” 

“I’ve coached Maleace all year prior to his move here, I’ve known Harvey for two years, and of course Baggs [Barry Baggley] I’ve known since he was sixteen years old, so I’m delighted to see them again. There’s a few familiar faces, and of course the new ones that I’m looking forward to trying to help and ultimately get as high as we can in the league”.

Head Coach Keith Long is delighted to have Matt join the Blues, commenting:

“Matt is a highly regarded coach within the FleetwoodFootball Group, and I’m delighted to have him here. I’ve met Matt on several occasions on my visits to Fleetwood, and we’re very-much aligned in-terms of how we see the game. I feel he is a young but experienced coach – a highly regarded coach from both a management point of view and also with the players he’s worked with”.

“He’s a good personality, good with the players, works really well with the players and speaks very well. He’s clear on how he operates on a football pitch. So from a footballing point of view he’s a great fit”.

“I wasn’t sure we’d be able to get Matt. I had asked on other occasions of his availability, and I’m delighted that we’re now able to get him in to work with the players because I think he’ll be a great fit for us – to help the other coaches, to help me as a manager. David Breen, Brian Murphy, along with James Brennan, have been brilliant up until this point, and it’s nice to have him in and assist us and hopefully he’ll help us move forward as a club to climb the table as high as we can”.

Watch Matt, Keith and all the squad in action at the RSC this Friday as the Blues host Galway United in a crucial SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division clash. Click HERE to secure your ticket.