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Dublin: 7°C Saturday 8 May 2021

Waterford sign midfielder Coote from Championship club Brentford

The 21-year-old is a former Dundee United team-mate of Scott Allardice and has Waterford connections through his grandparents.

Ali Coote in Scottish Premiership action for his first professional club, Dundee United.
Ali Coote in Scottish Premiership action for his first professional club, Dundee United.
Image: Jeff Holmes

WATERFORD FC HAVE confirmed the signing of midfielder Ali Coote from Championship club Brentford.

The 21-year-old spent two and a half years at Griffin Park and though he was included in the first-team squad for the 2019/20 pre-season, he failed to make his breakthrough as Brentford chased promotion to the Premier League.

Coote was Brentford ‘B”s player of the year last season and took over the second-string captaincy in March of last year.

A Dundee United academy graduate who made 16 appearances for his first club — including a Scottish Premiership debut at the age of 16 — before enjoying a loan spell at East Fife in 2015/16, Coote represented Scotland at U15, U16, and U17 levels.

He is a former United team-mate of Waterford midfielder Scott Allardice, who joined the League of Ireland Premier Division club this time last year.

“I’m delighted to be here,” he said. “I’ve family connections to the city through my grandparents, so I know the place quite well.

“I’m really looking forward to getting into the training ground in the next few days and getting to properly meet all the lads. I’m lucky in that myself and Scott [Allardice] played together before, so it’s nice to walk into a club and know at least one face in the dressing room.

I’ve come over with the hope of getting to play first-team football again, and that is something that really excites me. Obviously, when I left Dundee back in 2017, I dropped out of first-team football, so I’m delighted to be back at that level again.

“I’m hoping to be able to put on a show for the fans when I’m on the pitch and hopefully get results and hopefully drive us up the league table. The fans can expect a lot of creativity from me in the middle of the field.”

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Waterford manager Alan Reynolds added: “Ali is a good lad, and he’s eager to prove himself at the first-team level again. Obviously he has experience playing first-team football with Dundee so he’ll have something about himself on the pitch.

“I’ve spoken with him a couple of times, and he’s bought into the plan we have for the season. We have a nice little squad coming together and I think Ali will fit nicely into the dressing room.

“We’ve been interested in securing Ali’s services for over the last six weeks so to finally get him over the line and onboard is a huge coup for us.

He’s very hungry for a young player and he gained tremendous experience during his time at Dundee United before moving on to Brentford. He really wants to kick on with his career now and I’ve no doubt he’ll become a fan favourite quickly.

“We’ve got a couple more lads that we’re still working on getting over the line before we head to Inchicore on the 14th of next month, so bare with us.”

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