Waterford FC complete signing of Akinade and Héry ahead of promotion to the Premier Division
Waterford FC have signed Bohemians striker Ismahil Akinade and Limerick FC midfielder Bastien Héry ahead of the 2018 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division campaign.
Former French U18 midfielder Héry, a product of the youth academy at Paris St. Germain, played 28 games for Limerick last season and joins a Blues midfield featuring Dean O'Halloran, Derek Daly and Paul Keegan, all of whom have re-signed for next season.
Speaking of his signing, Héry told the club's website:
“I am very pleased to have signed for Waterford, a club with plenty of history and success in the past; a club that is on the up again now.
“I met with Director of Football Pat Fenlon and visited the city and the facilities available to the club and I was really impressed with what I saw. For my family and me, to sign with Waterford was the best option.”
Meanwhile Akinade moves to Waterford after two-and-a-half-years at Bohemians. The Nigerian-born striker joins Waterford after scoring four goals in 15 games for The Gypsies last season but he admitted that it was hard to leave the Phibsboro based club.
“I signed for Waterford because I see that the club is going places and it has high ambitions," said Akinade.
"The move to full time football was a big factor also in my decision to make the move.
“I enjoyed every second at Bohs. It was hard for me to leave as I felt like I developed a strong bond with the fans over the past three years and the staff and players were great. It was like a family there and hopefully at Waterford, I can make that same connection in the dressing room and with the supporters.
“My hope for next season is to start strongly and see where we end up. It is going to be a difficult season as it is down to a ten team league so every point will be important, whether at the top of the table or at the bottom.”
Speaking on this afternoon’s double signing, manager Alan Reynolds added:
“We are delighted to be able to attract players of the quality of Bastien and Izzy to Waterford FC. Off the field we are working hard to put together a competitive squad for 2018 and we are certain that both these players will be great additions.
“Bastien emerged in 2017 as a top talent at Limerick. We watched him closely in a number of games towards the end of the campaign for Limerick and he was pivotal in the middle of the park to their good form late on, ultimately helping them steer clear of the bottom three to an impressive 7th placed finish.
“With Sean Maguire now gone from League of Ireland football, Ismahil is arguably the top striking talent in the country and we are delighted to have him on board for 2018. He has shown a great willingness to work hard on and off the field to develop his game and character and we are very impressed with the player we have managed to sign.
"Both these signings signal our intent in 2018, not only to survive in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, but also to kick on and challenge in the top half of the table.”