4 weeks ago

Trust: Hughes Helps Launch Premier League Inspires

Hornets midfielder Will Hughes recently visited Vicarage Road Stadium to help Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust launch their brand-new programme Premier League Inspires.

Premier League Inspires is a curriculum-based programme aimed at young people aged 11-25 years old who are marginalised or at risk of not fulfilling their potential. The programme runs across the academic year with a mixture of stadium-based events, timetabled sessions, one to one support meetings and social action volunteering. The programme is available free to all secondary schools or educational establishments.

Hughes was on hand to speak with secondary school pupils about his inspirations in life and work, as well as the attributes needed to succeed in their chosen career pathways. At a vital time for pupils, with exams and key decisions on the horizon, the Hornets star also reiterated the importance of keeping on top of your mental resilience and how even top footballers feel certain pressures.

Community Project Officer (Young People) at the Trust, Lucy Tearle, said of Hughes’ visit: “The main aim of our Premier League Inspires programme is to inspire the young people, so enabling them to meet a first team player like Will Hughes was a fantastic experience. His inspiration, passion and dedication to his profession was something which they will all take away.”

Another Watford star, Gerard Deulofeu, also shared what inspires him on social media as local schools attended the launch and will now take part in the Premier League Inspires programme.

The schools taking part in the first round of delivery are Adeyfield Academy, Rickmansworth School, Parmiters School, Hatch End High School and The Reach Free. To get your school involved contact Lucy Tearle at lucy.tearle@watfordfc.com

First Team 4 weeks ago

Deeney: “My Knee Feels Brand New”

Troy Deeney took a significant step this morning in his recovery from injury when he took his first strides on a treadmill.

The captain has been restricted to sessions on the bike and in the pool since the operation on his right knee, but he was given the all-clear to start work on the anti-gravity treadmill this week and he performed three lots of four-minute sets at 7kms an hour.

“I've been doing running in the pool, so the mechanics didn't feel too unusual,” he said. “I’m running at half body weight and I want to do more, but they are holding me back for the right reasons. It's exciting but I also get frustrated as I want to do more and do the next thing.

“I understand the process, though, and the medical staff are looking after me really well, so we've knocked another week off [of the recovery time]. I think they are a week or ten days away from letting me go and run properly outside.”

Deeney's confidence is fuelled by a really positive appointment he had with a consultant on Friday.

“They took the last bit of fluid out of the knee,” he said. “It was 100ml last time, which was quite a lot, but this time it was only 23ml. I also had something put in to help lubricate the knee. It feels great, it feels brand new. It's good. Things are going well.”

The 31-year-old is reluctant to raise expectation and put a firm date in the diary for his long-awaited return, but he has a game in mind when he’d like to add to his 373 appearances for the club.

“I know when I'm aiming to be back,” he said. “It's not too far away now. I'm just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. They are holding me back for my benefit, but when they let me go there will be no stopping me, so they are just trying to rein me in until it's safe medically and then I'll be going and pushing myself.

“I'm just ready for it. I know what to expect and that I will have to fight for my place. I don’t think there’ll be any playing 45 minutes for the Under-23s first. I’ll be expected to go straight in and I'm ready for everything that is coming.”