Former Bohemians boss Keith Long appointed as manager of Waterford FC

New Waterford FC manager Keith Long. Photo: @WaterfordFCie

Daniel McDonnell

Keith Long is back in football after Waterford moved quickly to appoint the former Bohemians boss as the successor to Danny Searle.

The League of Ireland First Division promotion chasers made the decision to part company with Searle after a disappointing start to a campaign with eight points from five games leaving them ten behind leaders Galway - albeit with a game in hand.

They haven't hung about in appointing a successor with Long (49) the outstanding local candidate after his departure from Bohemians last August after almost eight years in charge.

Waterford have entered into a multiclub partnership that is effectively under the control of Fleetwood Town, with former Ireland international Jonathan Walters serving as technical director for both clubs.

Under previous owners Lee Power and Richard Forrest, they primarily looked to the UK market for managers so this does represent a change of strategy.

Chairman Andy Pilley, who similar to Walters holds that role for both Fleetwood and Waterford, said Long was the natural choice.

"We had a number of very high profile applicants but Keith was the standout candidate and ticked every box for us," he said.

"Keith is a hugely experienced and respected manager in the League of Ireland and it speaks volumes about the reputation of Waterford FC that we've been able to attract someone like Keith to the role."

Long said he was excited by working for a club with 'great tradition' in a 'real footballing city.'

The new appointment will be in the dugout for Waterford's game with Finn Harps on Friday night.