Sport Soccer

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Devlin and Russell heading for exit door as Waters joins Shamrock Rovers

Martin Russell
Martin Russell

Garry Doyle

The managerial futures of Bray Wanderers' boss Pat Devlin and his UCD counterpart Martin Russell are clouded in uncertainty this morning as both men endure strained relationships with their respective clubs.

The two managers have enjoyed long stints in their respective positions, Devlin having worked with Bray on and off since 1986, while Russell has served UCD with distinction as both coach and manager for nine years.

Whether they are still in their jobs for the 2014 campaign is, at best, unclear and, in Russell's case, extremely unlikely.

The former St Patrick's Athletic midfielder has issued legal proceedings against UCD and is hoping for either a financial settlement or a new contract for the coming season.

Having successfully led the club to promotion in his first year as manager and retained their Premier Division status ever since, Russell was prepared to remain at Belfield for another term. But he is unsure whether he will be kept on, with speculation mounting that his former assistant Aaron Callaghan will succeed him at Belfield.

Like Russell, Devlin is unhappy with some of the background noises at his club and, while it is unimaginable that someone so intrinsically linked to Bray may not be around next season, it is a strong possibility.

One person who will definitely not be at the Carlisle Grounds in 2014 is Kieran Marty Waters, the 23-year-old winger who joined Shamrock Rovers on a two-year-contract yesterday.

Having supported Rovers all his life, but having spent the last six years with Bray, Waters admitted to mixed emotions about swapping clubs.

"It is a wrench to leave behind so many good people who did so much to improve me as a player and a person," said Waters.

"But having stressed over the decision for so long, I'm glad to have made my mind up.

"Some will say I'm money hungry, but that is not why I am here. I have ambitions to win things as a player and believe I can do that at Rovers.

"Historically, they are the most successful club Ireland has produced and I want to add to that success.

"If there is pressure here, then so be it. When you cross the white line, you have to learn to block out any noise coming at you, whether that is negative or positive.

"To me, this move has so many positives. There is the potential to win major trophies, the potential to progress as a player, the potential to really make my mark.

"Guys like Jason Byrne have left Bray and won trophies and then returned to the club. That would be my intention too.

"I loved it there, learned a lot about the game at the club and owe so much to so many.

"I turned down Rovers a year ago to stay with Bray and contemplated doing so again. But I've made my mind up and I am ready for this next chapter."

Irish Independent

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