Dylan Barnett has been pleasantly surprised since swapping the AMEX Stadium for the RSC. Bray native Barnett, 21, spent four years at Brighton before departing at the end of the 2016/17 campaign. He went on trial with Bray Wanderers in pre-season beDylan Barnett has been pleasantly surprised since swapping the AMEX Stadium for the RSC. Bray native Barnett, 21, spent four years at Brighton before departing at the end of the 2016/17 campaign. He went on trial with Bray Wanderers in pre-season before signing for Waterford on the opening day of the season and he's enjoyed being thrown in at the deep end. "It's good. When I was away, I didn't really know much about it but it's a lot better than I thought it would be. The quality is a lot higher and I'm really enjoying it at the moment. "For the first few weeks I was kind of finding my fitness because I'd come in late in pre-season but once I was fully training and getting fit I kicked on." The Blues have mounted a somewhat unexpected title challenge this season but Barnett wouldn't be drawn on possible league glory or European football. "Everybody was kind of expecting that it's our first season so the main aim would be to stay up but we started well, we've had a few draws (that we should have won) but we want to finish as high as we can - that's the aim. "We'll just concentrate on game by game for the moment!" The Waterford no. 19 started life off as a left winger and jokes that if he can find some goals from left-back, a return to the wide midfield position could still be on the cards. With no relenting in their fixture list, Barnett has little time to visit home but was allowed a night's grace following the 2-2 draw with Bray Wanderers. But he is not complaining as playing football is what he wants to do and no more so than in clashes against Waterford's title rivals. "I didn't realise how compact it was. You're playing so many games - it's what I want to do - but we've had a few knocks and then we're missing a few players for the last four or five games and it's kind of taking its toll but it's got its pros and cons. "I didn't know much about them (derbies). I was speaking to the manager and a few of the players down there before the games about how much it means to the city and to the fans. A lot of people turned out and it was a great atmosphere and thankfully we've had some good results against Cork." It is atmospheres such as the Munster derby that have matured Barnett as a footballer. "Absolutely. It's first-team football - it's men's football. It's different to academy football because points mean something and the fans are there and they're on your back if you're not doing well so it makes you grow up and take it seriously."
League of Ireland