Watford Academy/U23

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

  1. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    His locks had no more lustre than a brick. I was definitely looking at someone else.
  2. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    The U23s/Development side are next in action against QPR on Monday 29th October and it's at Vicarage Road with a 2pm kick off.

    £3 for oiks like me, £1 concessions or FREE if you're a season ticket holder.
  3. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player


    Kick-off at Vicarage Road in less than 2 hours for the U23s/Development Squad versus QPR. (2pm to be precise!)

    £3, £1 concessions or free for season ticket holders.
  4. cfdr0ftaW

    cfdr0ftaW Academy Graduate

    Big kudos to anyone who went, we're 4-0 down after 37 mins :confused:
  5. nornironhorn

    nornironhorn Administrator Staff Member

    Currently 4-0 down to QPR after 37 mins
  6. And 0-5 at half time...:(
  7. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    Our youth team and management seem useless. They seem to have done the miraculous job of overhauling the staff and system over the summer and made them even worse.
  8. nornironhorn

    nornironhorn Administrator Staff Member

    Lost 6-2, Charles and Cassidy with the goals.

    Wouldn't look too much into the result, we had again a very young and inexperienced side out, QPR's side was much more experienced
  9. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    I went. Of course I did, they lost!

    The first half was plain embarrassing. Absolutely zero intensity and not a lot more effort went in to the utter shambles that was on display. Only the keeper, Dante Baptiste I think (listed differently on the team sheet), came out of that half with any credit. Even the most simple of passes couldn't be completed and positionally, front two excepted, utter bilge. 'Tackle? Nah, I'll shy away from that' seemed to be the mindset throughout the side. And despite the coaches giving instructions during little breaks in play, nothing about any performance changed. It was just bizarre to watch a side who looked such a class act against Bristol City last time out put in such an abject 45 minutes.

    Second half and at least the tempo was raised and tackles were being made. Passing was still off and often delayed too long to render them pointless while QPR could easily have doubled their score but for Baptiste pulling off some quality stops. Better than the first half but it really couldn't have got worse.

    Ashley Charles. You're a decent footballer, especially at this level, but if you want to make a living out of football at any level then you really need to find drive and determination for every minute of a match. A gifted individual but this kind of performance shouldn't be happening. Harry Forster and Joy Mukena, the same.

    Take a breath. The three players I've just mentioned are 19 (AC & JM) & 18 (HF) so I realise they will have dips but today was so disappointing from these three in particular.

    A special mention then for Dante Baptiste. I believe he's only 16 years old and was previously on the books of Norwich City. His reflex saves & close range shot stopping was excellent. A very easy kick from a static ball but a little slow releasing from the hand. He did parry a few saves to the middle of the area and had zero command of the area when crosses came in (seldom) but from where I was sat he had quite a good game!

    Ryan Cassidy. I'm beginning to feel really sorry for this bloke. He never stops making excellent runs off the shoulder of the last defender. Any half decent ball on his open side would possibly see him either cutting back in front of the defender to be through on goal or be able to hold it up easily to let team mates catch up. But those balls never come. Ever. But still he makes those runs, time after time. Kudos to you Ryan.

    As a team display though, this may well benefit a number of the players more than an average one. It's a lesson that needs to be learnt with regards to intensity and attitude needing to be at 100% from the very first minute. Hopefully todays shambles will be just what's needed for them to realise what it takes to be a professional footballer.
    wfc4ever and Bwood_Horn like this.
  10. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    If they’re going to make it as professional footballers, 18 or 19 year olds should be making appearances in a first team somewhere. These days you hear so-called experts referring to 23 and 24 year old English players as ‘still learning the game’. Alan Ball was a World Cup winner at 21!
  11. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Trouble is we are now looking for probably mid-table Premier league quality from the youngsters.

    Not ones who can make a brief appearance at Rotherham and Preston in the Championship and that is about it.

    Will we enter the Under 21s Football league thing - might be a way to beat Luton (or dare I say lose!)
  12. nornironhorn

    nornironhorn Administrator Staff Member

    What did you think of QPR's Paul Smyth? He's the tiny one who grabbed one of their goals.
  13. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    I re-read Marvin Score-Dell's bit on WFClegends yesterday and two things that really struck me were these:

    It seems so long ago...and just to re-iterate what a different time (ancient history?) it was:

  14. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    I'll be honest, I don't really focus on the opposition. When WFC don't have the ball I tend to watch one of our players to see what they do away from the main action.

    There was one little fella for them in the middle of the park but he was pretty stocky compared to the pictures I've just googled of Smyth. The red lined numbers on blue & white hooped shirts were unreadable so I couldn't make out who was who when I did try to determine a winger they had who completely air kicked a shot about 8 yards from goal despite already having the ball at his feet!

    But, if it was the little stocky chap - he looked okay in what I noticed and was quite combative. Despite the one sided nature of the 1st half, nobody really stood out with an eye catching performance that made me focus on him/them.

    Sorry I can't be more informative.
    nornironhorn likes this.
  15. Y&P

    Y&P Squad Player

    Just to jump in here late, but I was sitting by Sam Howes in the stand. He was with Charlie Rowan and another player who I recognised as a previous academy kid but couldn't put a name to.

    It was probably Rowan, who's about to sign for QPR.

    Incidentally, I can tell you from their conversation that Howes has a very nice and very pricey watch.
    oxhey67 likes this.
  16. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    The under 23s are playing tonight. A bit unfair on the teenagers in the side who will miss out on tonights sparkly lights & loud bangs.

    The side to play Colchester United includes Zeegelaar once again and it'll be interesting how they react to the absolute spanking received against QPR last time out.

    Howes (GK);
    Eleftheriou, Leighton, Mukena, Zeegelaar;
    Forster, Charles (C), Phillips, Holsgrove;
    Cassidy, Folivi.

    Subs: Hudson, Baptiste (GK), Gordon, Bennetts, Sankoh
  17. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    1-1 at half-time. Ryan Cassidy equalised just before the break.
  18. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    2-1 up. Harry Forster on 57mins.

    2-2 after 60mins.
  19. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    OOH! Dan Phillips scores on 83mins. 3-2 Watford!

    FT | @ColU_Official 2-3 #watfordfc U23. Goals from @casso_9 , Harry Forster and the winner from the excellent Dan Phillips clinch the team’s second league win of the season.

    Daniel Phillips really does look a player in midfield and if he's now adding goals... a true prospect.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  20. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Inconsistent as ever then - either win or lose it seems.
  21. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    I've seen them draw too so they're a complete team!

    Good to read Phillips getting the plaudits from Mullins. Honestly, it's difficult to believe this player is only 17 with some of the performances s far.
  22. WatfordTalk

    WatfordTalk Squad Player

    Where’s he come from oxhey, do you know? Been in the academy for a while?
  23. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    I know he is very young, but could that lad Cassidy be worth a run out from the bench in the 1st team, you never know he might be able to make the step up and be one of those players that can score goals at all levels?
  24. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    There's not a lot about him that I can find to be honest.

    He joined at under-14 level in 2015 and a tweet back in 2016 indicates he may have been connected to ASE Sports Group (Academy of Sporting Excellence) in North London at some point. I admit it's a tenuous link but it's the best I can find. I have asked one site, Football-Wonderkids, if they've any information on his earlier years and I'll post if they come back with anything.


    He was one of nine given 2-year scholarships in May 2017 with possibly the most recognisable name in that group being Lewis Gordon. Interestingly, another player who's caught my eye this season in the under-23s is Michael Mullings and he also signed scholarship forms at the same time.


    His debut for the development side came just a month ago in the 0-2 loss to Ipswich where he played for roughly an hour alongside Chalobah. Apparently Phillips had been injured up until that game and the sides' coach, Darren Sarll, was very complimentary about him afterwards.


    He has since played in every game for the development side, I think, and when I've seen them he has generally looked several levels above his team mates. That's not to say he's perfect! In the 2-6 loss to QPR he was very poor in the 1st half and even in the 4-0 win versus Bristol City he struggled for the opening 45 minutes. What was impressive both times however was his performance in the second half. When he's on it, Watford click. Inconsistency will be a part of a large percentage of 17 year olds game though, especially those playing in a higher age group for the first time and after a 5-week injury lay-off!

    He's not 18 until January and if the club have any sense whatsoever they'll have a professional contract for him to sign ASAP.


    Just as an aside, while looking for information on Phillips I came across a player who appeared for the under-23s earlier in the season - Nathan Baxter. He was released by Everton and he played at least one game for WFC, presumably on trial, as a centre back. It obviously didn't work out for him here though as he now plays for Prescot Cables in the Northern Premier League Division One (North).
    In the same game or at least around the same time, Kieran Holsgrove was also on trial after being at WBA (u16-u18) and before that at the Liverpool Academy (u6-u16). It looks like Holsgrove has signed for WFC in some capacity as the Welsh u19 player now has his own page on the official site.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
    nfh and WatfordTalk like this.
  25. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    I honestly believe it'll be too soon for him. He's still only 17 years old and while he's baulked up a bit I think physically it'd be a huge step up for him. He's good, don't get me wrong, and he looks to have a very good football brain - some of the runs he makes off the ball are excellent and despite rarely getting picked out for one of them, he keeps providing that option - but I believe right now he'd struggle technically in the 1st XI.
  26. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    I am not suggesting he should be a regular at this stage, but seeing as we lack a striker with the ability to make such runs off the ball, maybe he could be worth trying from the bench, maybe in a game that we are well on the way to winning.

    Then we could see if he is capable of making those runs at that level, because hopefully he would get the service in the 1st team that he is not getting at the moment and he might then prove to be a revelation?
  27. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    I understand what you're saying with regards to coming on as a sub but two things immediately stand out for that situation to occur.

    Firstly, it would mean taking him away from playing regular 90 minutes of football each week for the under-23s to be included within any 1st XI match day squad. Right now he needs minutes on the pitch to learn the nuances of the game in a less pressurised environment. There is still pressure on him to perform at development level but he won't immediately be written off as useless by a baying public (I don't mean you in this statement) if he failed to impress or have his confidence knocked if it went badly. He is highly rated by the club, he's already contracted until 2020 so will be training with the 1st team at times. If he were really ready then he'd have been around the Cup squads against Reading & Spurs.

    Secondly, even with seven substitutes it would be a risk to have one of two spots taken up by forwards given to an untried 17 year old. It's impossible to know if we'd be in a comfortable position to throw on an untried kid in any Premiership game and I don't think any coach worth his salt would take that risk so early in the season. Maybe, and it's a huge maybe, if we're safe from relegation towards the end of the season it might worth including him on the bench, but not yet.
  28. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    I realise my whole reasoning is undermined due to using the phrase 'worth his salt'. What?!? What does that even mean???
    I've just had a reply from Football Wonderkids and they believe he was at Chelsea before he came to us at under-14 level.
  29. Our feeder club.
    oxhey67 likes this.
  30. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    Better than Okaka then....
  31. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

  32. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    U20 International recognition for 17 year old Watford player Jayden Bennetts.


    Allnigeriasoccer.com understands that Watford super kid Jayden Bennetts is in line to make his international debut for Nigeria after receiving his first call-up to the Flying Eagles squad ahead of the 2018 WAFU U20 Cup of Nations.

    The 2001-born player is expected to fly out to Abuja in the coming days to link up with the Nigeria U20 squad at their training camp as Watford has permitted him to train with the squad during the international break.

    Bennetts is an attacking midfielder who can also play as a striker and he's creative around the penalty area.

    The highly-rated teenager has cited Chelsea dazzler Eden Hazard as his role model because of the way he plays and creates.

    Bennetts' impressive form for Watford U18s might have convinced Flying Eagles coach Paul Aigbogun to give him a chance to fight for a spot in the team before next February's Africa U20 Cup of Nations.

    So far this season, he has scored 4 goals in 12 appearances for Watford U18s and played a couple of games for the U23s.

    Jayden Bennetts was born in Barnet to a Nigerian father and German mother and this means he is eligible to represent England as well as Nigeria and Germany but the Nigerian Federation are in pole position to secure his services.
    I Blame Bassett likes this.
  33. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    The U23s play Cardiff City away this evening, 7pm kick-off.

    The full team;
    Howes (GK); Eleftheriou, Hudson, Mukena, Gordon; Charles (c), Phillips, Forster, Holsgrove; Folivi, Cassidy.
    Subs: Tricker, Baptiste, Krasniki, Hutchinson, Bennetts

    The usual suspects line up but there's a new name on the bench - Krasniki. Who he?

    There's a few Krasniqi's turning up on Google but no Krasniki's.
    Also, as he's named does that mean he's signed rather than a trialist?
  34. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    The Cardiff City twitter feed have tweeted once, summing up the game thus;
    U23 HALF-TIME: @CardiffCityFC 0-0 @WatfordFC All square at the break in a competitive match at CCS!

    Watford have been just as busy with their updates;
    An entertaining first-half at the Cardiff City Stadium ends goalless. Both sides have had chances. Cardiff City U23s 0 #watfordfc U23s 0
  35. oxhey67

    oxhey67 Squad Player

    0-2 to Cardiff.

    The Welsh side had at least four players with 1st XI experience while WFC had... well, not that many.

    Krasniki came on with roughly 20 minutes to go, still no idea who he is though.

Share This Page