Waterford will play their first game of the Premier League campaign when they welcome Derry City to the RSC this evening.
The squad has been revamped since promotion was secured last season.
After an absence of ten years from the top flight, the Blues will be hoping for a similar result to the last time the club played Derry in the Premier League. That was on October 5, 2007 when goals from Vinny Sullivan and Willie John Kiely gave Waterford a 2-1 victory.
Willie John Kiely also scored (both goals) in a 2-0 win the last time the two clubs met. That was in the First Division at the RSC on September 3, 2010. The record books show that the Blues have an impressive home result ratio against the Candystripes.
After five pre-season games, the Blues haven’t fired on all cylinders with the squad still struggling to gel and team manager Alan Reynolds is sure to have some selection headaches prior to kick-off.
Speaking ahead of the game, the Blues’ boss said, “We have trained hard ahead of the Derry game and we’re looking forward to it. There is a great buzz around in the build up to the match and we’re aware that the people of Waterford have waited a long time for the return of Premier Division football.
“Sometimes it’s hard to prepare for the first game of the season. Last year we were great in pre-season but ended up losing the first game against Athlone Town. I think that we are ready for Derry and it should be a great occasion.
“We have tried to get as many players as possible, adequate game time in preparation for Friday night’s game. We know that they are a very good side and they have finished 4th in the league the last two seasons? so we know that it’s going to be a tough opening game.”
Also speaking on the Derry game, Blues skipper Paul Keegan said, “I don’t think that the supporters have seen the true potential of the squad in pre-season and we’re ready to hit the ground running against Derry on Friday. The fans played a massive part in the success of this club last season and I know that they’ll be right behind us again this season.
“We’ve worked very hard and the lads are raring to go. It’s going to be a big night for us against Derry and hopefully we can get a good result. The atmosphere that has been created the RSC is second to none and that played a massive role in our success last season.
“I think that everyone has worked hard and put their heads down. I think that it’s important to us all that we get a good start and that’s going to be vital to our season. The Premier Division is a new experience for most of our supporters as well as the players but it’s one that we’re looking forward too.”
ONE MORE SLEEP! Excitement is building toward's tomorrow night's SSE Airtricity League Premier Division kick-off against Derry City. To avoid the queues, we advise purchasing your tickets in advance online via https://t.co/rox7dxHGXl #Blues pic.twitter.com/j4o5hm7MIK
— Waterford FC (@WaterfordFCie) February 15, 2018
Kick-off is at 7:45 pm and the game will be broadcast live on WLR with commentary from Ray Scott and Matt Keane, thanks to Clem Jacob Hire while Gavin Whelan will also broadcast ‘On the Ball’ live from the Kilbarry venue from 6.10pm.