Under-23's 14/11/2017

Recruitment | Scott Strengthens UK Focus

Andy Scott’s appointment as Watford FC’s UK Football Recruitment Director this week serves to remind Hornets’ fans of the club’s commitment to remaining at the forefront of pro-active planning and execution of player monitoring and acquisition.
“He will play a key role in further developing our UK infrastructure,” said Chairman & CEO Scott Duxbury of the appointment, with the former Brentford manager and player now enjoying his first few days settling in at the club’s training base in London Colney.
Moving from his position as Head of Recruitment for the Bees, Andy Scott recognises it’s an opportunity not many will be fortunate enough to encounter.
“I’m delighted to be joining a Premier League club that has serious ambitions,” smiled the 45-year-old, talking to watfordfc.com.
“What I’ve enjoyed about working at Brentford is they’ve never been afraid to do things differently.
“From speaking with Scott [Duxbury], it’s clear Watford have created several points of difference in the way they operate and I’m here to add a UK focus to the already well-renowned global scouting network that exists.”

Scott Duxbury added: “I’ve said it before, we’ve made no secret of the fact that the club’s infrastructure and stable environment away from the first-team itself is a primary reason behind the recent successes we’ve enjoyed.
“We are able to move quickly and efficiently to secure our targets – and I see Andy joining the team as enhancing our ability to do that within the UK environment.
“We are a growing, aspirational club and the strengthening of our senior recruitment team shows how committed we are to delivering a competitive advantage in all areas.”
Interestingly, Andy Scott’s role at Brentford saw him build up a network of recruitment and scouting specialists that eventually blossomed from its UK roots to an overseas operation.
He explained: “It was something that naturally evolved from a need for Brentford to be competitive with its recruitment and quickly understanding that it would mean looking further afield and establishing different kinds of relationships for the benefit of the club.
“We at Brentford realised we weren’t going to able to compete within the UK sector alone.”
By contrast, Andy Scott’s role here at Watford will have that clear UK focus, with an additional accountability for key decision-making affecting the club’s youth structures.
“Of course I’ll be working closely with Filippo [Giraldi, Technical Director] to ensure that the plans we implement blend together with the depth of the work that is already established here.
“There is plenty of autonomy in the role, which will mean we can create something that fits Watford perfectly. I’m thoroughly looking forward to this new challenge.”



Jakubiak | “I've Done Well To Cope”

It wasn't quite the 21st birthday present Alex Jakubiak had hoped for. 

The home-grown striker had just blown the candles out on the milestone occasion in August when he lined up for the Hornets' Under-23 side against Birmingham at Vicarage Road. Hayden Mullins' side were drawing with the Blues under the lights when Jakubiak picked up possession in a forward area.

“I was on the left, beat my man and then when I cut the ball back, my right foot just got jarred in the ground and my body weight went over it,” he recalled. “At the time I thought it was worse than it was and that I was going to be out for longer. I knew straight away away it wasn't a break but it was still one of the worst pains I've felt.”

The fact the swelling subsided after a couple of days confirmed it wasn't a break but the pain and lack of mobility did hint at some significant ligament damage.

“It was the ligament on the outside of my right ankle that I damaged,” said Jakubiak. “It was a minor injury but it's kept me out for nearly three months. Initially we thought it would be six weeks.”

Jakubiak has been out so long – two and a half months, to be precise — that, in that time, the Under-23s have played nine games, the clocks have gone back and the leaves have fallen off the trees. 

Jakubiak damaged ankle ligaments against Birmingham in August

“It's the first proper injury I've had so, mentally, I think I've done well to cope with not playing for that amount of time but Dan, the Academy physio, has been great in getting me back, so I'd like to thank him. He made sure I didn't lose my head when I was injured. I know you can get frustrated and it affects you, but I made sure I got in early and used the gym.”

Jakubiak has been eased back into action and treated with kid gloves. He played half-an-hour of the 2-0 win over Bristol City and then the same again in the chastening 6-1 cup defeat at Blackburn. He was then, as part of a carefully thought out plan, played from the off against Crystal Palace yesterday and lasted the pace.

“I'm a bit tired but I feel good considering this is my first 90 minutes in nearly three months,” he said. “I'm still a bit rusty so I'm just building up fitness now. The only way I'm going to do that is by getting games so I'll just keep kicking on until January and then see where we go from there.”

Is a sixth loan spell a possibility?

“We'll see in January,” he said. “Nothing is set in stone. I'd like to be somewhere where I'm playing games regularly, week in and week out, preferably in the league somewhere. That would really help me develop as a person and as a player. We'll see what happens.”