Waterford's new owners have backed Danny Searle to finish the job by arming him with a contract extension.
The Englishman missed out on promotion two weeks ago when the Blues came up short against UCD in the playoff decider.
But Waterford are putting their faith in Searle, 44, to have another crack at securing a top flight return next year.
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“I’m delighted to get this deal signed,” he said. “I’m proud of the work that we’ve done since I came in during the summer but we’ve much more to do.
“The potential at the club is huge and that’s what we’ll be looking to reach over the coming years.
“This is a long-term project for the club and I, so to get this contract sorted means that securing a squad for 2023 is now our main focus.”
Waterford owner Andy Pilley said: “We feel Danny is the right man to help get Waterford back where we belong.
“Danny is the first of many pieces we intend to put in place in the coming weeks. We can now focus on recruiting a squad capable of winning the First Division.”
Elsewhere, Darragh Leahy and Keith Ward have signed two and one-year contract extensions respectively with Dundalk ahead of next season’s Premier Division.
Lilywhites boss Stephen O’Donnell said: “Keith had a huge impact this season, whether he started games or came off the bench.
“He’s great around the place and his attitude in training is exemplary.
“When you marry everything together, you have a really good, experienced player with lots of creativity and they are not easy to find.”
O’Donnell added: “Darragh gives us real variety and has the kind of profile we want in our squad.
“He is someone at the stage of his career where he is ready to kick on and go up another level.”