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03rd Mar 2023

Waterford report opponents over spying claims

Rory Fleming

Waterford spy

The greatest league in the world…

Waterford FC say that they discovered an ‘opposition analyst’ from a rival team ‘hiding and filming’ their training session on Thursday. The club released a statement about the incident and said that they will report the alleged incident to the FAI.

The Blues are set to face off against Galway United side on Friday evening.

The League of Ireland is notorious for its quirky storylines. Yet, a repeat of Marcelo Bielsa and Frank Lampard’s infamous ‘Spygate’ incident in 2019 was not on domestic football fans’ bingo cards ahead of the third round of the season.

The alleged ‘spying’ incident itself is reminiscent of the fabled ‘Spygate’ tale which captivated the English Championship back in 2019. The then-Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa was accused of sending a coach to spy on Frank Lampard’s Derby County as the pair battled it out for promotion to the Premier League.

That series of events resulted in Leeds receiving a £200,000 fine.

Such figures are clearly out of the realm of possibility for Irish clubs, so it remains to be seen what punishment the FAI deliver in the event the alleged perpetrators are found guilty.

Waterford will face off against title rivals Galway.

Waterford, who are owned by the same consortium as English League One side Fleetwood Town, are many observers’ favourites to claim automatic promotion to the Premier Division this season following a winter of strong investment both on and off the pitch.

The Munster club, who lost to UCD in last November’s promotion/relegation playoff, were resigned to another season of second-tier football by the same team who initially relegated them back in 2021.

However, after bolstering the squad with a number of signings from the English lower leagues, last season’s runners-up have hopes that they can earn promotion this season. They also appointed the former Republic of Ireland Ireland forward Jonathan Walters as the club’s technical director.

Domestic football fans’ attention is set to be firmly fixed on Tallaght Stadium this evening as Shamrock Rovers entertain Derry City. However, the second division is offering up its own early-season title clash at the Regional Sports Centre.

Galway and Waterford have both made unbeaten starts to the season and Friday’s clash promises to be a tasty affair at the RSC, especially off the back of Irish football’s attendance boom.

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