Watford and St Albans City hoping to forge even stronger links

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 January 2016

George Byers sees his shot saved

George Byers sees his shot saved

Archant

The head of Watford’s academy Chris McGuane says he is hopeful of increasing the links between the club and St Albans City.

The clubs have always had strong links but these have been strengthened this year with Watford U21s playing a number of home games at Clarence Park, most recently last week’s 3-3 draw with Brentford.

But McGuane admitted the links could get stronger again if plans in the pipeline come to fruition.

He said: “We’ve had a very good relationship with everyone at [St Albans] since we started the relationship and we’ve developed it further since the start of the season.

“Hopefully we can build on it. There are talks and plans about what we can do moving forward but we’ll wait and see how they progress.

“From a club and academy point-of-view, we recently held a coaching event for all local coaches to come and see what we do.

“We’re always looking to build relationships not only with St Albans, but all our local clubs.

“It’s mutually beneficially for both parties.”

One such mutually beneficial deal was the month’s loan signing of Jorell Johnson, who moved to Clarence Park just before Christmas.

And McGuane says the feedback on how the young defender has performed has been good.

He said: “I had a good chat with Harry [Wheeler] who is in charge here at St Albans. He was very positive about how he was progressing.

“I’ve been to watch him, had him watched by other staff as well and we’re pleased at how that’s progressing and the feedback has been positive so far.”

January and February is traditionally a time when young U21 players head out on loan to gain match day experience in senior football.

McGuane added: “My phone never stops from scouts and agents for any of our players from U21s down to our younger age groups.

“We’ve got some good players at this club, throughout the academy into the first team.

“We’ll do what’s right for us as a club and what’s right for their development.

“Loans don’t work for everyone; moves don’t work for everyone so we’ve got to do what’s best for their development.”

n Herts Ad photographer Danny Loo was at the game to see Harry Kewell’s men in action as our gallery shows.

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