1 month ago

Non-League Day: Support Your Local Side

Non-League Day will return for its 10th successive year this Saturday (October 12), with plenty of local clubs in action while the Hornets are on an international break.

The annual day on the football calendar provides a platform for clubs to promote the importance of volunteer-led community football, while encouraging fans across the country to show support for their local non-league side.

Non-League Day is also partnered with Prostate Cancer UK, encouraging clubs and fans to raise funds to stop the disease which kills one man every 45 minutes.

See below for information on games taking place locally to Watford, more information about Non-League Day, and some background on current Hornets with history in non-league football.

Local Non-League Matches

St Albans City v Eastbourne Borough, 3pm KO, National League South

Entry is £15 for adults on the gate or £14 if you purchase in advance. Under-16s are £5 on the day and £4 in advance.

For Watford season ticket holders, tickets are £12 on the gate or £11 online. People booking in advance should bring their cards with them.

Kings Langley v Rushall Athletic, 3pm KO, Southern League – Premier Division Central

Entry is £11 for adults, £7 for concessions or £2 for Under-16s.

Kings Langley are offering entry for £7 if you are a league club season ticket holder — or if you bring your dog along on the day!

Barnet v Woking, 3pm KO, National League

Leverstock Green v Wembley, 3pm KO, South Midlands League – Premier Division

Oxhey Jets v Hackney Wick, 3pm KO, FA Vase

Broadfields United v Walthamstow, 3pm KO, FA Vase

Hadley v Milton Keynes Robins, 3pm KO, FA Vase

Golden Boys With A Non-League Past

Watford captain Troy Deeney plied his trade in non-league football before joining the Hornets in August 2011. After an unsuccessful trial with Aston Villa, the forward joined Chelmsley Town in 2004 where he made the first steps in his football career. After joining League Two Walsall in 2006, Deeney was then sent on loan to non-league club Halesowen Town for the remainder of the season. He went on to impress for Walsall and earn a move to Vicarage Road, where he is now the club’s all-time fourth top goalscorer.

Having begun his career in the academy of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Andre Gray dropped down the footballing divisions before working his way back up. The striker initially joined League Two Shrewsbury Town before going out on loan to non-league Telford United in 2009 and then Hinckley United in 2010. After joining Hinckley United permanently, Gray then went on loan to Luton Town in the Conference before eventually joining the Hornets after spells at Brentford and Burnley.

Goalkeeper Ben Foster is in his second spell with the Hornets, but a packed career has seen him appear in non-league for a number of clubs. The goalkeeper began his football journey with Racing Club Warwick as a youth before joining Stoke City, but went on to have loan spells at Tiverton Town, Stafford Rangers and Wrexham in non-league. He then joined Manchester United in 2005 before joining Watford on loan and – eventually – permanently.

Craig Dawson worked in his local pub and played for Rochdale St Clements before continuing his football journey at non-league Radcliffe Borough during the 2007/08 season. The centre-half appeared 95 times in two years at the club, scoring 15 goals, and earned a move to Rochdale. Dawson then spent almost 10 years with West Bromwich Albion before joining the Hornets.

More info

Other Non-League Day games local to Vicarage Road, or near where you live, can be found here.

For more information, check out Non-League Day on Twitter and Facebook.

First Team 1 month ago

Wilmot: “It's A Very Talented Group”

Hornets defender Ben Wilmot, on loan at Swansea City for the 2019/20 season, is back in the England Under-21 squad ahead of two matches this international break.

The Young Lions face Slovenia away in a friendly tonight (Friday October 11) at 5pm BST before hosting Austria on Tuesday (October 15) at 7.45pm BST in a UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifier.

“It’s a very, very talented group but it’s also a good group of lads, everyone gels really well and nobody’s big-time or anything like that,” Wilmot told watfordfc.com.

“With the upset that happened in the summer at the Euros we’ve got a point to prove really with our age group, so every time we go away we’re just working hard and getting ourselves ready for two years’ time.”

Wilmot was called up for the Under-21s for the first time in September, having previously appeared for the Under-20s and Under-19s. But injury trouble hindered the 19-year-old’s chance of making his debut for the team.

“It was a very proud moment, I’ve played for the Under-19s and Under-20s before but the Under-21s is a real step up,” he said. “It gets a lot more media attention. It’s a big achievement to get picked for the Under-21s, so I was very proud.

“It was just a shame I had a bit of an injury which put me out of the first game and then I only trained twice before the second game. I ended up missing both games but hopefully this time I'll get some games.”

The Under-21s are managed by Aidy Boothroyd, and Wilmot said he enjoyed working with the former Hornets boss over the last international break.

“He [Boothroyd] spoke to all of us when we got there because it was quite a new group with a lot of lads who were there for the first time,” said Wilmot. “He made everyone feel welcome. With me not training much he was making sure that I was alright and recovering and that everything was going okay. He was good.”

Click here to see who else is in action this international break and when.