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Former PSG midfielder Hery leaves Waterford for Linfield as Ireland U21 striker arrives on loan

Michael O’Connor joins Waterford on loan until the end of this season as Bastien Hery departs for Linfield.

Bastien Hery (right) celebrates a goal against Cork City in February.
Bastien Hery (right) celebrates a goal against Cork City in February.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

WATERFORD MIDFIELDER BASTIEN Hery has left the club in order to join Danske Bank Premiership side Linfield, while Ireland U21 striker Michael O’Connor arrives in the opposite direction after signing a loan deal at the RSC.

Hery, who spent six years at PSG before embarking on a career in English football with Rochdale, Carlisle United and Accrington Stanley, arrived in Ireland back in 2017 after joining Limerick.

He spent one season at the Markets Field before being snapped up by Alan Reynold’s side, where he helped Waterford secure a top four finish last season. For his efforts in midfield, Hery was named in the 2018 PFAI Team of the Season.

“I’ve loved being part of the club for the past 18 months,” the Frenchman said upon his departure to Linfield. “It’s been a great experience and a huge part of my career to play for Waterford FC.

“The club, the fans and the town have made me feel so welcome from day one. Being so far from home I can never thank you all enough.

“Linfield is something different for me and playing in the Champions League is an exciting opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.

Michael O'Connor O'Connor has spent time with Shamrock Rovers and Finn Harps. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank everyone; from the coaches, to the staff, to my team mates this season and last who have been like my family, and the fans who have spurred the entire team on.”

Arriving at the RSC on loan from Linfield until the end of the 2019 campaign, striker O’Connor will add further depth to Waterford’s attack following the departure of Ismahil Akinade earlier this month. 

An Ireland U21 international, O’Connor has spent time with Shamrock Rovers and Finn Harps in recent years. 

“I’m absolutely delighted to be here, it’s a different challenge for me and I just can’t wait to get going,” the 20-year-old forward said.

“I know some of the lads already from being in with the Irish U21s and being around the league before.  The fans will see a hard worker, I’ll give everything I can for the club and I’m going to try score as many goals for the club as I can.

“I’ve been really impressed with everything since I’ve come in, they facilities are really good and the pitch is excellent. I spoke to Rennie and I like the way he wants his teams to play so I just can’t wait to get on the pitch.”

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Aaron Gallagher

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