Decision time for Andy

Decision time for Andy

17 February 2021

CROSSGAR striker Andy Waterworth admits he is undecided over whether to sign a new contract with Linfield.

The 34-year old is in ongoing talks with the Blues over extending his stay with the club. He has been at Windsor Park since his move from Glentoran in 2013. 

Waterworth also works in a full-time coaching role with the Irish FA. As Linfield continue to develop the club towards their own full-time model, that leaves one of the top marksmen in Irish League football with a decision to make.

“I don’t really know yet what is going to happen with it,” he admitted to the Recorder. “The offer is of a full-time contract from Linfield, and that does leave me in a difficult situation.

“I understand what Linfield are trying to do with their model - I am a big advocate of clubs here going full-time.

“For me though, going into any new full-time deal, I would be 35 and I have to consider my own long-term plans. The club and I though are chatting things through and everything is very amicable - there is a lot of mutual respect there.”

Waterworth has said when he eventually does hang up his playing boots, he wants to remain involved in football through coaching.

“The Irish FA have been great with me in allowing me to be able to combine my work with them with playing - they have never stood in my way in that respect. As it is, with my playing and my coaching in the game, I give everything to football. 

“There is so much preparation that goes into everything. No decision has been made on anything yet, but it is all 100% respectful between myself and Linfield.”

Waterworth has said no time frame has been put in place on when he has to decide his future with Linfield.

“The club are making plans for both scenarios, whether I stay or go, and that is understandable. We are also conscious that at this stage, there is still so much to play for on the pitch that no one wants to let other things be a distraction.

“Certainly I am not the only player in this position. A number of us have decisions to make in the near future. 

Having started at Kilmore Rec, Waterworth got a taste of full-time football with Hamiliton in the Scottish Premiership, having moved from Lisburn Distillery in a deal worth £20,000.

Following his return home, Waterworth joined Glentoran, claiming Irish Cup and Irish Premiership titles during a five-year spell in east Belfast which ended in 2013.

It was then he made the switch to the Glens’ great rivals Linfield, where he has enjoyed trophy-laden seasons.