First Team 07/06/2015

Stadium Update | Extra Sir Elton John Stand Capacity

WATFORD FC'S Sir Elton John Stand is currently being developed to provide an additional 700 seats at the front of the structure.

The planning behind a busy summer of works at Vicarage Road Stadium started immediately after the end of the promotion-winning 2014/15 campaign. 

Several capital expenditure projects have been considered by Hornets' officials, with the first of those underway the decision to increase the stadium's capacity in the most efficient manner possible.

There are also a number of mandatory developments which need to happen, in particular to comply with Premier League media & IT facility requirements.

The staircases at the foot of The Sir Elton John Stand have been removed, with seats to take their place down to pitch level, providing a total increase in capacity of around 700 - taking the stadium's total figure to just over 21,000.

One of those Premier League requirements to fulfil is pitch sizing. The pitch dimensions will be 105 metres x 68 metres, which means an increase in length of 1.4 metres and 2 metres in width. LED boards will be installed around the three TV-facing sides of the Vicarage Road pitch perimeter, mirroring the set-up at many other top-flight stadia.

Media & IT facilities will be enhanced significantly. A doubling of the main TV commentary gantry will take place, the structure which hangs from the roof of the Upper Graham Taylor Stand. Smaller pods will be installed at a similar height to serve 18-yard line positions.

And there will be a gantry platform construction bolted to the Graham Taylor Stand fascia, where 'The Graham Taylor Stand' lettering currently sits. This lettering will be re-sited after the near-50 metre gantry width - hosting all of the overseas commentary and camera positions required - has been installed. Views for those in both tiers of The Graham Taylor Stand will not be adversely affected by these works.

Hawkeye (Goal Decision System), IT hardwiring, Wifi provision for media and permanent TV studios are other matters also on the agenda during a busy summer at Vicarage Road.

First Team 02/06/2015

Gomes on Trust | “Always A Pleasure”

WATFORD goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes believes the work the club does in conjunction with the Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust is something to be admired.

The former Tottenham Hotspur 'keeper made 44 appearances in the Golden Boys’ promotion winning campaign last term, and was eager to highlight the good work done by the Trust after winning the Community Ambassador award at the club's End Of Season Awards Dinner.

“To win an award like this one is a great achievement for me,” he told watfordfc.com.

“When I go to events involving the Community Trust it is always a pleasure, because this club has really close relations with the people off the pitch.

“I’ve played at a number of different clubs, but the work Watford do with the community and the fans is amazing.”

Having been established in April 2004, the Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust has gone from strength to strength, and offers a diverse range of activities.

Watford’s work in the community is widely renowned, and Gomes admitted that events laid on by the Trust are something he fully embraces.

“I do the events to get closer to the people and the fans and to make them happy, so it was great for them and for me, and it’s something fantastic that the club do as well,” he said.

“I believe it’s so important because the community are the ones who make the football club, and not just solely the players. 

“For the players, they can sometimes come and go. But the fans are the ones who will always be here and support the team. The relationship is so important, and that’s why I feel so strongly about the work that the Community Trust does.” 

Indeed, the keeper was a frequent visitor to activity days run by the club over the course of the season, and commented that events can provide a welcome distraction from the rigours that the domestic season can bring.

“Sometimes it’s just nice to take a break away from the pitch and relax. I had such a good time visiting all the kids in their shirts.

“I’ve been at Tottenham, and PSV – both fantastic clubs but here I’ve had eight or nine community appearances throughout the season, and I’ve really enjoyed that.”

It was a fantastic 2014/15 season for Gomes and the Hornets, which culminated in promotion to the Premier League, their first stint in England’s top flight since 2007.

“It’s been very special all round really, we have to enjoy these moments. The club has everything in place to stay in the Premier League for a long time, and so now we can enjoy it with the fans.”