Watford Academy/U23

Discussion in 'The Team Bus' started by wfc78, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    I noticed he didn't exactly seem very keen to come out and show his face when the PA lady was announcing his name on Saturday...
  2. Makes sense. If our young players are going to sit on another team's bench, at least we can make sure they don't have to travel too far to do so.
  3. domthehornet

    domthehornet Moderator Staff Member

    Good to see, I know there are a couple more of these type of associations to come.
    oxhey67 likes this.
  4. Grrwood

    Grrwood Reservist

    magic likes this.
  5. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    Not sure. Carl Stewart moved to Udinese early on in the Pozzo days but returned after no more than a season.
  6. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    TBH Unless they are the next Messi or we are really stuffed with injuries like when Mason played last season not sure we will ever really see a youngster coming through the ranks and getting regular playing time whilst the Pozzos are around.
  7. ITKJim

    ITKJim Reservist

    You mean while we're in the Premier League with a League One academy set up. They've made it clear how they're changing the structure, it just needs time now. We've consolidated our position in the Premier League in the last couple of seasons and now we'll hopefully see some home grown youngsters and our on loan foreign contingent coming through.
    PowerJugs and oxhey67 like this.
  8. El distraído

    El distraído Johnny Foreigner

    Surprised about David Sesay. I thought he was meant to be one of our brightest prospects.
  9. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Hopefully your right..

    Guess that is why Andy Scott has been brought in.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  10. wingco

    wingco First Year Pro

    We released George Byers and he's on the verge of starting for Swansea. So I don't think being released is always a sign of players not being good enough
  11. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

  12. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

    Considering where the two clubs are now, I'd say being not quite good enough to get any minutes at Swansea is a sign of players not being good enough for us.
  13. Ágætis Byrjun

    Ágætis Byrjun Reservist

    Not content with signing Wilmot, we've also hired the man who developed him! Ex Stevenage manager Darren Sarll joins us as a senior youth manager.
  14. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    Just to add to Ágætis Byrjun's post...


    Former Stevenage manager, Darren Sarll has accepted a senior youth management role at Premier League Watford FC and will take up his new position next week.

    The 35 year old managed Stevenage for 2½ years before being replaced by Dino Maamria in March and Sarll has been working as Head of Technical Youth Development at Stevenage since the change.

    Chairman Phil Wallace said, “I am pleased for Darren. Any move to a Premier League club is an upward one and who knows how that might play out in the future. Darren has learnt a lot from his time at Stevenage and I have no doubt he will put it to good use in his new career.

    “We wish him all the very best and thank him for his efforts and significant contribution to our youth and first team development.”

  15. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    Looks like he's an old buddy of Andy Scott's from his Brentford days. Assisted him at one point and I expect that's the plan again.
  16. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    Today (14/07/2018)

    Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 14.16.14.jpg
  17. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player


    Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 14.17.44.jpg
  18. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player


    Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 15.20.02.jpg
  19. lutonh8a

    lutonh8a Reservist

    I think if Jadon Sancho was still with us he would be regularly playing first team football, who's to say we have not got another Sancho that we have kept hold of coming through!
  20. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    Some news about watching the under-23's and under-18's this season.

    The under-23's will play most of their games at Wingate & Finchley FC.
    All home games for both age groups are open to watch for supporters, details below.

    The address for Wingate & Finchley is The Maurice Rebak Stadium, Summers Lane, Finchley, London. N12 OPD.
    Telephone: 020 8446 2217


    Watford’s Under-23 side will play the majority of their home fixtures for the 2018/19 season at Wingate & Finchley Football Club.

    Aside from select games to be held at Vicarage Road, the majority of fixtures will be staged at The Maurice Rebak Stadium on Friday afternoons at 3pm.

    All home games for the young Hornets will be open to supporters:

    - Under-23s matches at Vicarage Road will be open to all, cash sales on the day and free entry to Season Ticket holders.

    - Under-23s matches at The Maurice Rebak Stadium - watfordfc.com will confirm admission details and pricing nearer the first fixture date.

    - Under-18s matches at Watford's London Colney training ground will be open to all Season Ticket holders, and those with a FAN ID who email academy@watfordfc.com prior to match day.
  21. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    Ahhh, now we know where all the negotiating has been happening!

    Omer Riza has been brought in as part-time coach for the under-15 & under-16 sides at the academy.


    Former Leyton Orient manager Omer Riza has joined Watford’s academy set-up as a coach.

    The part time role is Riza’s first in the game since he left Orient last year and will see him work with the Hornets’ under-15 and under 16 sides.

    Riza worked within Orient’s academy set-up previously, working closely with the club’s under-16s and 18s, before stepping up to become the O’s assistant manager after Danny Webb’s appointment in January 2017.
    But the former Arsenal and West Ham forward would take over the managerial reigns in tough circumstances for the final seven games of the 2016/17 campaign, but couldn’t prevent the O’s from being relegated from the Football League for the first time in 112 years.

    The 38-year-old had to contend with a number of issues during his time in charge of Orient, with the O’s future looking increasingly uncertain under former owner Francesco Becchetti. But Riza was credited with bringing a number of young players through the ranks at Brisbane Road, with the likes of Sandro Semedo, Steven Alzate, Tristan Abrahams and Victor Adeboyejo all flourishing under the 38-year-old’s stewardship.

    Abrahams, Adeboyejo and Alzate have since gone on to forge careers in the Football League, with the latter currently on loan at Swindon Town, having been snapped up by Brighton and Hove Albion last year.

    Riza left Brisbane Road following Nigel Travis’ takeover in East London last summer, after the O’s decided to appoint Steve Davis as their new head coach.
    Prior to his coaching career, Riza came through the ranks at Arsenal before going on to have spells with West Ham, Cambridge United, Denizlispor and Trabzonspor during his time as a player.
  22. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    Another coach added to the youth set-up.
    Tony Parks is now overseeing the keepers at the academy.


    The reshaping of Watford’s youth set up has continued with the appointment of Tony Parks as head of academy goalkeeping.

    Parks, a goalkeeper for Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United in his playing days, has experience coaching at various clubs and was most recently at Aston Villa in 2016. Parks also had a spell as goalkeeper coach with Norwich City between 2014 and 2015.

    He has previously taken up the role of caretaker manager at Halifax Town and arrives at Vicarage Road with 193 career appearances to his name.

    The 55-year-old is the latest name to be added to Watford’s academy and the news of his appointment comes after Omar Riza was given a part-time role coaching the Under-15 and Under-16 sides.

    Head of recruitment Andy Scott has been tasked with restructuring Watford’s youth development and has outlined plans for a Watford B team.
    The hope is that more of the promising youth players in the Watford ranks will be able to make the step up to Hornets’ first team.
  23. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

  24. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

    oxhey67 likes this.
  25. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss Squad Player

    If we get the usual amount of the injuries this season half of these lads will be playing for the first team this season .

    Not disimilar to Hitler sending out a load of kids to defend Berlin against the Red Army.

    And we all know how that turned out.
  26. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Well we cannot have many left - if we couldn't put a team out against WGC!
  27. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss Squad Player

    U 10s with M40 machine gun should do the trick
    PowerJugs likes this.
  28. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    The under-23's played their first competitive fixture on Saturday 11th, going down 3-1 to Birmingham City.
    Michael Folivi gave WFC a 39th minute lead before City replied with three in the second half.

    Last year (season?) it was put forward the under-23 players would play specially selected friendlies with the age level players moving up a group.
    In Saturdays game it looks like the club have taken that step with 10 of those selected still teenagers.

    16y/o x1 (Hutchinson)
    17y/o x4 (Tricker, Hudson, Cassidy, Bennetts (unused sub))
    18y/o x2 (Forster, Leighton (used sub))
    19y/o x3 (Mukena, Charles(c), Pereira)
    20y/o x3 (Howes (gk), Eleftheriou, Folivi)
    ??y/o x2 (Kaikay (used sub), Baptiste (gk, unused sub))
  29. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

    Disappointing that Cassidy doesn't appear to have scored yet in his first few under-23 games. I know he's still very young for the age group, but he's been very highly rated. Has he been shunted out to the wing there or something, rather than being played as a striker?
  30. ITK platypus

    ITK platypus Reservist

    Harefield has failed.
  31. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    The under-23's had the first game at their new venue today, Wingate & Finchley FC's Maurice Rebak Stadium.

    A tidy little ground within walking distance of Finchley high street and next door to an indoor bowling club & the Albanian association. Not just any Albanian association, oh no. On the sign it clearly states the Albanian association. It failed to say what it associates Albanians with but then it was just a small sign.

    A friendly welcome on the turnstile and from whoever I spoke to in the ground made for a pleasant atmosphere.
    The main stand has seating with legroom on the tight side of comfortable and there's a small terrace closer to the pitch in front. A tiny covered area behind one goal gave a handful of teens a decent close-up view of the action and a small stand opposite the main stand meant there was ample room for more than the 100 or so in attendance today had it been needed. A tractor hogged the area behind the other goal near the main entrance to the ground.

    The game.

    A 1-1 draw against an average Sheffield United display. Watford were physical, quick in their passing and dangerous up to the penalty area as they dominated the first 30 minutes. Folivi gave the Hornets a 13th minute lead after missing two earlier 1-v-1 chances but United equalised in the 61st minute after fighting their way back into the game. In the second half the Blades showed themselves to be dangerous when breaking quickly. Blustery conditions and an uneven, sticky pitch made passing difficult and the game got scrappier the longer it went on, punctuated only occasionally by the powerful Ashley Charles, the skilful Dion Pereira and the tricky Harry Forster with standout moments of skill.

    Once again Watford fielded a side with many coming from the under-18 age group.

    This is a brief rundown of how the players showed themselves today, not a judgement on their overall ability. Their age is in brackets.

    Goalkeeper - Sam Howes (20)
    Very tall and very vocal as he boomed instructions to his defenders, though he did quieten down as the game went on. He didn't have much to do but his handling was sound in blustery conditions. Made one good 1-v-1 save early in the 2nd half and an excellent one handed parry high to his left from a powerful shot from distance which showed tremendous agility for such a tall keeper. A good confident display.

    Right Back - Michael Mullings (16)
    Strong and hard to knock off the ball for one so young and while not quick, he's no slouch either. Tended to try and overplay in the first half and gave the ball away through either a poor first touch or a stray pass. Second half was much better defensively though did struggle to support the wide player in front of him. Impressive for 16 though.

    Left back - Ryan Suckling (18)
    Tall and very strong but the centre back struggled out of position on the left. His lack of pace against a quick wide player meant Watford were vulnerable on his side of defence and his distribution was poor. A lesson in the art of positioning today will hopefully stand him in good stead.

    Centre back (right side) - Joy Mukena - (19)
    Tall and elegant, Mukena looked at home when bringing the ball out of defence. Good in the air, has enough pace to cover his full back and new when to tackle and when to try and hold the opposition player up. Did get drawn out of position too often in the second half but looks a very good prospect on this showing.

    Centre back (left side) - Harry Hudson (17)
    Tried to be a physically dominant centre back early on when a bit more composure may have suited the game better. Had trouble judging defensive headers in the first half but that may have been down to the windy conditions as much as anything. Was assured until the last twenty minutes when his positioning let him down. To be fair though, he was having to cover the left back quite often and United began to pull both centre backs around late on.

    Deep lying midfielder - Ashley Charles (c) (19)
    Playing at the base of the diamond in midfield, Charles ran the game for the first 30 minutes and looked a Rolls Royce player, way above the levels of those around him. Throughout the ninety minutes he showed excellent technique when receiving the ball and in being able to escape his marker. Faded as the game went on and despite showing sporadically with powerful tackles and good runs from deep, too often a poor pass let him down. Marshalled the younger players & subs very well late on but I would liked to have seen him get on the ball more often when the game got scrappy. Impressive player at this level and looks to have benefited from being on the pre-season tour with the 1st-team squad.

    Right/central midfield - Dion Pereira (19)
    A player of good strength on the ball, neat touches and moments of flamboyant skill but, like Ashley Charles, the game was screaming out for Dion to take it by the scruff of the neck and to dominate his opponents. When he did, he was exciting and a threat but today it was all too rare. What did let him down was not getting stuck in with the defensive side of the game. Physically he's an impressive sight but he didn't seem to use his strength to win those muscular battles. There's definitely a player in there and if he can find a nasty streak it may help his overall game. Possibly better deployed at the head of the diamond on the evidence of today.

    Left/central midfield - Ryan McClean (unknown)
    I believe Ryan is a defender first and foremost but today played in the wider midfield position. Didn't look out of place at all though lacked any great creative outlet. Neither dominant nor dominated. Subbed midway in the second half.

    Attacking midfielder - Harry Forster (18)
    Played at the tip of the diamond though often drifted to the right, Harry was a handful until substituted in the second half. Although not obviously physical, he was hard to knock off the ball. Showed quick feet and often found a yard of space with a feint, looked to release the forwards early and linked well with the other midfielders. Harry did miss a golden chance after 70 minutes, blazing over from close range with the goal at his mercy. Definitely one to watch on this showing but will need to bulk up a little.

    Forward (right side) - Ryan Cassidy (17)
    A frustrating afternoon for Ryan. He didn't stop running and occupied his marker well, often dragging him out of position to allow space for others. In fact his movement off the ball was brilliant but unfortunately, despite finding space often, the through ball was either cut out completely or played towards Folivi. His one clear chance came in the second half on a counter attack but after once again finding himself unmarked, upon receiving the ball on the left side of the penalty area with just the keeper to beat, Ryan managed to drag the ball agonisingly wide. He played well, he just needed a teammate to find him more often. Subbed after 85 minutes.

    Forward (left side) - Michael Folivi (20)
    A curious display by Folivi. He missed two excellent 1-v-1 chances in the first ten minutes where he managed to hit the keeper both times before scoring in the 13th with a low drive from the right side of the area. Very late on he was once again 1-v-1 with the keeper but was tackled inside the area by the Sheffield stopper as he tried to go round him. He'll be disappointed not to have scored from at least one of those chances. He found space well by drifting wide before cutting in, though did get caught offside a frustrating amount of times. He's quick without being rapid but doesn't seem to anticipate where the right run should be made. He looked like a very well coached centre forward without having that natural instinct a top level goalscorer needs - maybe that's a bit harsh after just ninety minutes of football though.

    Kieron Holsgrove (unknown) - played on the left of midfield but like the player he replaced (McClean) neither stood out nor sunk.
    Jay Beckford (unknown) - came on for Forster and showed some nice touches going forward and a willingness to track back. He looked very very young!
    Sam Sesay (18) replaced Cassidy very late on but looked quick and tidy on the ball. No chances in front of goal.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  32. lowerrous

    lowerrous Squad Player

    Good write-up. Shame Cassidy didn't get more of a chance to impress, did he look like someone who could have a chance of making the first team one day?

    I suspect it's this Jay Beckford? https://metro.co.uk/2015/02/21/arse...-kid-jay-beckford-from-leyton-orient-5072873/ In which case he's actually 18.
  33. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    It's impossible to say on one performance if a player may or may not make it to be fair, re. Ryan Cassidy.
    He did seem to be football aware with his positioning and runs, more so than his strike partner Folivi. The two didn't really compliment each other yesterday and were often too far apart to be effective together. Several times in the 1st-half Cassidy was in good positions as the final man but the ball never got to him either through a lack of a pass or it was intercepted. I think he had two chances in the 1st-half, with one cleared off the line in a goal mouth scramble when WFC had three corners in succession and United threw themselves at the ball with some bodies-on-the-line type defending. Or desperate defending if I wanted to be unkind! I can't clearly remember the other now despite making a scribbled note of it! Second half and United had more of the ball so Cassidy had less chance to make an impact and he did scuff his one clear chance late on which he should have at least got on target.
    What may hamper a forwards chances at this level is the tendency to delay the pass for just a fraction which gives defenders time to read it. All over the pitch this happened yesterday as players from both sides looked to make sure of finding their man rather than playing it instinctively.

    For 17 he looks a very good prospect. Like I say, he looks to have a football brain and physically he looks strong enough for this level of football. There didn't seem to be much showing when the ball was in the air and due to his size he needs the ball to feet. He didn't look particularly quick but still found space. From his impact last season he knows how to score so it'll be interesting, now there's a bit more pressure on him to repeat those exploits, to see if he has the mettle to do so and against players who may be a good 5 or 6 years ahead of him in development. But just to reiterate, that's all from seeing him over 90 minutes which is no time at all to really hang my hat on any definitive judgement.

    And yes, it was that Jay Beckford! 18!! I honestly thought 16 at most but wouldn't have been surprised had you said he was 15! He wasn't on for long but did a nice couple of step-overs, took heed of the instructions Ashley Charles & those on the sidelines gave him and defended well for a forward player. The game was stretched when he and Sesay came on and neither had any real opportunities to show what they could do individually. Seeing that write-up though, it'll be interesting to see if he gets much game time this season.

    On the whole, I really liked the look of Ashley Charles, Joy Mukena and Harry Forster with special mentions for Ryan Cassidy and Dion Pereira. But on yesterdays showings alone, there is no teenage wonderkid waiting to burst into the 1st team.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  34. WatfordTalk

    WatfordTalk Squad Player

    Thanks for the write up oxhey, really interesting
    wfc4ever and oxhey67 like this.
  35. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    I'd like to state that the above observations are from someone with no football playing or coaching pedigree and are merely from the untrained eye of a Watford supporter. It's also impossible for me to watch all 11 players individually and give a comprehensive review while still trying to enjoy the game for myself, despite scrawling notes which became more and more unintelligible as the game went on!

    What I may try to do if I go to future development squad matches is concentrate on areas of the team rather than individual players. For example, in the next one I may focus on how the defensive unit of the back four and goalkeeper play collectively and individually. I think that way a fairer and more rounded review may be found as it will be easier to watch how they play in terms of communication, positioning etc., when the ball is further upfield and when the opponents play out from the back. I'll see how it goes.

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