Gianfranco Zola’s Watford set to come to town

Former Arsenal keeper Manuel Alumnia, ex-QPR defender Fitz Hall and several promising Udinese loan players could be on show against St Albans City FC at Clarence Park tomorrow (Wednesday) night.

Micah Hyde will return to City’s midfield to captain the side against his former club Watford (kick-off 7.45) in an attractive pre-season friendly that will feature an intriguing mix of youth and experience.

Another old boy for both sides in Paul Furlong, who turned out so effectively for Saints last season at the ripe old age of 43, will also be present to make the prize draw for the new Saints Snowball lottery at half-time.

Otherwise, St Albans manager David Howell will include in the City squad six of last season’s successful youth team in Harry Carr, Matt Taylor, Ken Ogbuagu, Joe Zazzera, Elliott Bailey and Tremayne Charles.

Local giants Watford are also expected to field a host of their promising young players but could also feature the odd familiar face and new signing with so much business having taken place at Vicarage Road since the recent take-over by new owners and the installation of Gianfranco Zola as manager.

It was announced today (Tuesday) that the npower Championship side had signed seven players in an overhaul down at Vicarage Road.

Former Arsenal stopper Manuel Almunia and ex-Queens Park Rangers defender Fitz Hall were the most notable, with five players on season-long loans from Udinese and Granada - both owned by the Pozzo family, who took over Watford last month.

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City will also be looking at two pedigree centre-backs that Howell is contemplating signing in silky ex-Staines Town skipper Danny Gordon and powerful Curtis Ujah, formerly of Hayes and Yeading.

The Saints Snowball winner will be receiving �88 as first prize, with second receiving �53 and third �36 with an encouraging 71 members having signed up for the inaugural draw.