First Team 1 month ago

Quin On Mullins & Stack: “I’m Delighted For Them”

By Kevin Affleck

Watford's Academy chiefs have expressed their delight at the news Hayden Mullins and Graham Stack have been chosen to lead the team against Leicester City tomorrow night.

Mullins, 40, and Stack, 38, were asked to prepare the team for the game at the King Power on the back of their work with the club's table-topping Under-23 side and on the strength of their rich playing careers. Former Crystal Palace, West Ham and Portsmouth midfielder Mullins played more than 600 times in the top two tiers of the English game while Stack had spells at Arsenal, Leeds, Wolves and Millwall.

“I'm delighted for them,” said Barry Quin, the Head of the Academy. “It shows the strength and depth of the coaching staff at the PDP end of the Academy and where we are going. I've been there [as a caretaker] so I know what Hayden will be going through and I just hope he enjoys it. It will be a terrific experience for him.

“Hayden will have the respect of the players as he is a good club man, played at the top level and is an excellent coach. Stacky is exactly the sort of person you want around the place and is a damn good coach.”

Academy Manager Richard Thomas believes the pair could lift spirits and help restore smiles to faces amid this difficult run.

“It's brilliant,” said Thomas. “They are exactly what the lads might need right now. Stacky is 100 miles an hour and will put smiles on people's faces and Hayden is calm. That balance will be good for the players. They can take the pressure off the players and do the little things that can help in this sort of situation.”

Thomas arrived towards the back end of last season and has worked with Quin to help drive the Under-18s and Under-23s to the top of the league, supply players regularly for first-team training and now the promotion of two of their coaches.

“It says lot about what we've got in the building and also what was put in place before I arrived,” said Thomas. “We just need to add to that, build on it and continue this really positive period for the Academy.”

First Team 1 month ago

Update: February Broadcast Fixture Selections

Due to Premier League teams progressing to the knockout stages of UEFA club competitions, fixture amendments for the month of February will now be released no later than Friday 20 December.

This will allow the League to take into account the outcome of UEFA’s knockout draws, before allocating Premier League fixtures accordingly within the mid-season player break.

The draws for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 and UEFA Europa League Round of 32 will be conducted on Monday December 16. 

The mid-season player break will see all 10 fixtures of match round 26 played across the weekends of February 7-10 and February 14-17.

The break was introduced in June 2018 following positive discussions with the FA and EFL regarding the football calendar.