We can confirm that Albert Watson made his final appearance for the Invermen against Coleraine yesterday evening.
The commanding central defender made his final appearance at the Coleraine Showgrounds yesterday, wearing the captain’s armband in what was his 139th appearance for the Inver Reds.
While his time in a playing role at Inver Park will come to an end, the 37-year-old will remain involved as U16 Head Coach within the Professional Development Phase of our academy set-up.
In an illustrious playing career to date, Watson has made 531 Irish League appearances, 139 of which have come as part of Tiernan Lynch’s squad since signing in the summer of 2019. During this period, Watson has achieved cult-hero status, playing a vital role in our three consecutive Co. Antrim Shield wins and historic Premiership title this season.
Reflecting on his time at the club, Watson said:
“I have really enjoyed my time as a player at Inver Park, the club has become like a second family to me and I have nothing but love and admiration the supporters, volunteers, staff members and my teammates.
“Ever since I first arrived in 2019, the supporters have taken my family and I as one of their own and I will forever be grateful for the love we have been shown. I’m delighted to be remaining about the club in a coaching capacity and will now look to pass my experience on to the next generation of players who will serve the club in the future.”
First team manager Tiernan Lynch paid tribute to the player, who has become a club legend in the eyes of many around Inver Park:
“Albert has been outstanding for us and we are delighted he has ended his time as a player at the club as a league champion. Alongside being a top-quality defender, his character symbolises everything that the club and the town stands for – honesty, humility, hard work and desire.
“As one chapter comes to an end with the club, another one begins right here at Inver Park and we are looking forward to seeing Albert flourish in a coaching capacity within the club’s academy, where he will be able to share his vast experience with our next generation of players.”
Statistics provided by Marshall Gillespie.