The coach had been involved with the Blues Under20 squad last season and had stepped in as caretaker boss after the sacking of Stephen Henderson. O’Brien’s first game as caretaker saw a 3-0 win over New Ross in the FAI Cup followed by a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Finn Harps. But O’Brien has seen his squad pick up six points from six with a 4-0 win against Salthill Devon and a thrilling 3-2 win away to Cork City in the Munster Derby last weekend.
The club statement read:”Following a meeting of the Waterford United management committee this evening, it has been unanimously decided to appoint Paul O'Brien as full-time First Team Manager for the remainder of the 2011 season. Billy Hearne has been appointed Assistant Manager, and Alan Barry First Team Coach.
The trio have been in charge in a caretaker capacity for the past four weeks during which time they have instilled a new-found confidence in the squad, culminating in the superb recent victory at Turner's Cross.
Blues chairman John O'Sullivan: "We're delighted to be able to put the appointments of the three lads on a more permanent footing. Personally I'm thrilled to have three local lads in charge of the squad, and everyone at the club is delighted with the progress made since they've stepped in."
The new boss told Beat 102103 Sport this morning -"Delighted - didn't think I'd succeed this much, over the moon." "We're trying to get some consistency, get the players believing in what they can do and their own ability." O'Brien said. "Every player who played in Cork last week really showed their worth and I think if they can keep it going we'll see what happens."