Under-18's 03/09/2019

Under-18: “He Leads With His Actions”

Captain Dom Hutchinson scored both goals in a 2-0 victory for the Under-18s against Nottingham Forest on Saturday (August 31), extending the Academy team’s winning start to the season to four games.

The forward opened the scoring with a penalty after 20 minutes before doubling the Hornets' lead shortly after with an audacious lob from close range.

“The penalty was a really cool finish,” said Lead Coach Simon Clark. “The second goal was soft feet on the touch, real composure and soft feet on the hit to lob a goalkeeper that close in. It was really pleasing.

“I thought the second goal was outstanding because they were on a reasonably low block at that point and Bosun [Lawal] has picked out the pass over the top. The first touch and then the lob I thought were exquisite.”

Hutchinson has started the season with four goals in three games in the U18 Professional Development League and was picked as captain because he leads by example.

“I made him captain because he’s very much a leader socially,” said Clark. “But he’s also had a really good attitude and work ethic both in and out of possession in games and training. He very much leads with his actions and his work.”

Clark’s side are now the only team to have won all their games in the Academy league this season, scoring 13 goals and conceding just two, and the Lead Coach was impressed with his team’s performance against a tough side.

“We knew that Forest are always top two, top three,” he said. “They haven’t conceded a goal but I’ve spoken to people and seen clips of them when they’ve dominated the ball, done really well and created a lot of chances in their games.

“We had a really good defensive structure against a really high pressing side. They never played through us; they never created any real clear-cut chances. We looked really strong, really creative in the first half and moved the ball well, but really structurally sound.”

HORNETS: Baptiste (GK), Conteh, Maclean, Lawal, Matthews, Burchell, Harrison, Campbell (Horsewood, 67), Hutchinson (Manning, 81), Lo-Everton, McKiernan (Sankoh, 72).

Subs not used: Broome, White

First Team 02/09/2019

Official: Okaka Returns To Italy

Stefano Okaka has today completed a permanent transfer to Udinese.

The 30-year-old striker scored six goals in 16 appearances while on loan with the Serie A side during the second half of last season.

After arriving at Watford from Anderlecht in 2016, Italian international Okaka scored five goals in 39 outings for the Hornets.

We wish Stefano all the best for the future.