Paul O’Brien, Michael Drohan and John Frost at the season ticket launch (pic: Paul Elliot/WSM)

Manager Paul O’Brien and his first new signing John Frost were on hand to launch Waterford United’s 2012 Season Ticket at the RSC on Friday.

Prices have been fixed at last season’s levels, with the adult ticket at €150, concessions at €85, and children’s tickets at €35. The Airtricity League First Division is expected to comprise 12 teams this season, which will mean 16 or 17 home matches. In addition, the season ticket will cover any pre-season games at the RSC, including the upcoming Munster Senior Cup match. The tickets are on sale now from the club office at the RSC, or from John Ryan’s on Patrick Street, and are also available at the club’s online shop.

Speaking to Matt Keane at the launch, manager Paul O’Brien talked of possible new signings over the coming weeks. Paramount is a goalkeeper to replace Kevin Burns who has moved on to Cork City, and he will also look to replace central defenders Kevin Murray and Kenny Browne who have signed for Cork and St Patrick’s Athletic respectively.

He also talked of the need to improve United’s firepower this year. “Last season we scored 45 goals and that was just not good enough. Teams like Cork City, Shelbourne and Monaghan got promoted because they scored 60 plus goals and that is what we have to do this season. We have targeted a number of players to improve our goal ratio and I hope to be in a position to sign new players in that area very soon also.”

But he concluded on an upbeat note: “We do have exciting talent at the club, player like Seanie Maguire, but we will need experience also to get out of the First Division. With a mixture of local players and new signings I am confident that we will win promotion this season”. He added that he hopes to have everyone he needs on board in the very near future.

John Frost was also present at the launch, and the former Waterford United skipper was also upbeat about the new season. “I was delighted to come back to Waterford”, he began. “I was impressed with Paul O’Brien and the rest of the coaching staff and I cannot wait to start pre-season training with the lads. I know that a number of new players are on their way and with the experience of Gary Dempsey in the middle of the park, David Breen at the back, plus the addition of new players I believe that we can get back into the Premier League.”

“I have the experience of playing in the First Division with Limerick last season and I know at times that you have to go to places like Mervue, Athlone, Salthill Devon and Longford and grind out results. It looks as if teams like Carlow and Cobh Ramblers will be in the League this season and the same attitude will be required in those places if they do gain admission. Having said that the public of Waterford love to see good attacking football so we will be focusing very much on that side of the game also” concluded Frost.

The squad begin their pre-season testing and training next week and details of pre-season games will be announced in the very near future.

(with many thanks to Matt Keane for the interviews and Paul Elliot of Waterford Soccer Monthly for the photograph!)

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