Waterford FC are delighted to announce the signings of Dessie Hutchinson and Noe Baba.
Former Waterford Bohemians midfielder Hutchinson joins the club after a spell with English Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion, while Baba joins after spells with Fulham, Birmingham City and Macclesfield Town.
Both players are eligible from July 1st, pending international clearance.
Hutchinson is a former Republic of Ireland underage international and made his Brighton first-team debut against fellow Premier League side Bournemouth in the league cup, playing the full 120 minutes in a narrow 1-0 defeat.
The 21-year-old defensive midfielder went on to share the Under-23 captaincy during their 2016/17 season.
“I’m delighted to join the club and I’m really looking forward to getting going,” Hutchinson said. “I want to enjoy my football and this is a great fit for me so I decided to stay in Waterford rather than go back across the water. It’s my hometown club and to get the opportunity to play for Waterford FC is brilliant. The way Alan [Reynolds] has the team playing suits my style too so I’m delighted to join.
“It’s a much different club than the one that was here when I moved to Brighton and I’ve been impressed so far. I’ve been in around the squad and I’ve seen the quality of the players that are at the club and I’m really excited to be involved. Players like Paul Keegan and Noel Hunt have been there and done; their experience is invaluable and it’ll be a big help to me.
“When you look at the facilities too, they’re excellent and better than a lot of what you’d see down the leagues in England.
“The club is really going places and it’ll be great for my parents, my family and my girlfriend to be able to see the games now too. My mother and father used to come to every match when I was younger so it’ll be great to have them watching me again now for my hometown club. I can’t wait to get started.”
Defender Baba shone for Castlebar Celtic and the Republic of Ireland underage sides before earning a move in 2013 to Fulham.
The 21-year-old moved to Birmingham City before spending last season with Macclesfield Town as they won promotion to the Football League. Cameroon-born Noe has captained the Republic of Ireland Under-17s and has featured for Ireland up to Under-21 level.
“I’m very happy to join the club and get things sorted. I’ve been down around the squad and it feels like it’s a good fit for me,” Baba said.
“With the ground and the great training facilities, it was an easy decision. Add in the quality of the players that are in the squad and the work being done in training, I’m not at all surprised that the club is 3rd in the league at the moment.
“The good season the club is having is reflected in the people around the club and I’ve enjoyed being here so far. I’m looking forward to getting on the pitch now and trying to keep the club moving in the right direction.”
Waterford FC manager Alan Reynolds is delighted to get both players signed up.
“It’s great to get both Dessie and Noe signed up as we look forward to getting back into action after the mid-season break. We’ve made no secret that we’re looking to strengthen the side and both players are good additions to the squad. They’re both young players who’ll be looking to make an impact and that’s what I’m looking for.
“We want to bring the right kind of players to the club; Dessie is a local lad and it’s great to have him at his hometown club. Noe is a versatile player and he’ll offer us options as we look to continue our good season.”