Delaney relishing Waterford adventure

Damien Delaney has admitted he jumped at the chance to prolong his playing career after inking a deal yesterday to play with Waterford United in the Airtricity Premier Division this season.

Delaney, 37, joins the club having spent the second half of last season with Cork City and the previous 18 years playing in England.

Many believed the central defender’s playing career was at an end when he left Cork before Christmas, but he said yesterday:

“I spoke to Alan [Reynolds] and he told me the plans he has for the club and what he wants to do here and I want to be part of it. I played against Waterford last season and the pitch is excellent and they were a good footballing side. I feel I still have a lot to give so it’s great to be able to come in.

Europe is massive for the club, too. The club did so well last season and deserve to be playing in Europe in 2019. I feel I can contribute to that and I’m really happy to do so. I finished with Cork in November and enjoyed Christmas but I can’t wait to be back at it, back to work and looking forward to the season ahead.

Blues boss Reynolds described Delaney as “a top professional”, adding: “He can see what we’re trying to do here. The experience Damien will bring to the club is invaluable. With European football this season, too, it was important to add experience to our squad to complement other areas, and Damien fits the bill for us.”

Meanwhile, Dundalk winger Dylan Connolly has completed a transfer to AFC Wimbledon for an undisclosed fee. Connolly, who moved to Oriel Park from Bray Wanderers in July 2017, made 51 appearances in all competitions for the Lilywhites and found the net on eight occasions, including the winner away to Levadia Tallinn in the Europa League last summer.

Republic of Ireland international Robbie Brady has been defended by Burnley boss Sean Dyche after his red card in Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town.

Brady, who was making his first appearance since the middle of last month, was only sent on in the 63rd minute of the match and saw red in stoppage time for a two-footed tackle on Isaac Mbenza.

He must now serve a three-match ban and Dyche said: “That’s the worst part about it, really, it’s a loose challenge, no doubt — not a nasty one, Robbie’s not like that.

It’s just loose, and the referee has no choice.

“That is one of them, the only blot on it, we’ve been struggling to get numbers back, and we’re just getting some back, including him, and then we get him banned. That’s the way it goes.

“Saturday in the FA Cup was another chance for him to play, and he would have played, definitely, but what’s done is done.”

Ireland midfielder James McCarthy is a loan target for West Bromwich Albion.

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