Time Capsules: Mahon On His Play-Off Final Teammates (2006)

By: Watford FC Staff

In our 'Time Capsules' series, we dive into the Watford FC archives to re-publish a classic interview from an historic matchday programme.

For our latest instalment, we re-visit Gavin Mahon's feature in the 2006 play-off final programme, when he captained the Hornets to a 3-0 win against Leeds United and promotion to the Premier League.

Heading into the final game of the season, Mahon gave the inside line on each member of the first-team squad, commenting on everything from technical ability to dress sense...

The Programme

  • Season: 2005/06
  • Match: Leeds United 0-3 Watford
  • Date: Sunday May 21, 2006
  • Manager: Aidy Boothroyd
  • Competition: Coca Cola Championship

The Article

Watford skipper Gavin Mahon shares the secrets of the Vicarage Road dressing room with Richard Walker...

Ben Foster

He'll be Man United's first-choice keeper in years to come and there's no reason why he can't go on and play for England eventually. His kicking is fantastic and he's a great presence about him. Ben likes a lie-in so it takes a while to get going in the morning.

Alec Chamberlain

He's so experienced and the fact he's been there and done it is a massive help to the lads, especially in our team meetings. He's nearly 42 but still trains like a 16-year-old trying to earn his first contract. Al's a genuinely nice guy and a great role model.

Malky Mackay

A leader of men, on and off the pitch. What you see is what you get with him – a physical presence and a solid defender. Malks has been a key signing this year; he's our captain in the defensive line. He's such a good bloke and is like a fine wine, getting better with age.

Jordan Stewart

A fellow Brummie, Jord is top man and great to have around. He's a really positive defender, attacks the ball well in the air and has a sweet left foot. Though he has a habit of walking around the dressing room naked or with only his briefs on.

Clarke Carlisle

Clarkey's an intelligent guy who's big and powerful, strong in the tackle and totally committed. He's had some tough times but he's come back stronger for them. He gets a bit of stick from the lads for wearing pink shoes but I'm all for that - it shows the man's got class.

James Chambers

My room-mate who's finally given in to pressure and shaved his head. Chambo doesn't like being called versatile, but he is. He's quick and good defensively. And he's got great banter considering he's from Wolverhampton.

Jay DeMerit

Jay's a powerful defender who'd run through brick walls to win the ball. It's only a matter of time before he plays for his country. He wears scruffy clothes but carries it off – some of the lads think he looks like a tramp but that's because he's got style and they haven't.

Lloyd Doyley

I put him third in my Player of the Season vote because he's an eight out of ten man every game. Lloyd's the best one-on-one defender at the club and keeps improving. Solid and reliable – apart from his barnet which takes hours to do and still looks terrible.

Adrian Mariappa

He is one for the future because he's always willing to learn. He trains hard and loves tussling with Marlon or Darius. He gets a bit of stick because we reckon he puts rollers in his hair.

Chris Eagles

Chris is a pretty-boy. He shaves his legs and wears a band in his hear – if he was chocolate he’d eat himself. He strikes a great ball with both feet and is a match-winner, like that amazing 50-yard lob he scored at Brighton. He’s a local lad who’s fitted in really well.

Dominic Blizzard

Blizz has had a tough year with illness but he's a strong character and will bounce back. In one game earlier this season, he could hardly breathe or see but he still kept going because he's a never-say-die lad. He's got a really dry sense of humour, which I like.

Ashley Young

Since I came to the club four years ago, I always thought Ash would turn out to be a top player. With two good feet, he's great at dead-ball situations and is very intelligent with his movement and touch. He'll play at the highest level if he keeps working hard.

Matthew Spring

He's got some jackets that are real rascals, stuff your dad would wear – but he'd say he's a trend-setter. Springy's been a great signing and I've enjoyed playing alongside him. He's a clever footballer with a real eye for goal.

Al Bangura

Our Young Player of the Year, Crazy Al is 18 but plays like he's 35. Nothing fazes him and he's so strong in the tackle. Al’s finishing in training is terrible, he always scuffs his shots. But if you say anything he always brings up his one career goal.

Anthony McNamee

He’s got the quickest feet I've ever seen and delivers a great ball. He makes some of the lads look silly in training but not me because he knows I'll kick him. This season he's come out of his shell but stepped into a range of terrible tracksuits.

Toumani Diagouraga

He's a very quiet lad and the longer he's here the better it'll be for him because he's technically very good. He's already shown glimpses of what he can do and is highly thought of by the coaching staff.

Ben Gill

Ben's my boot boy but he does loads of others so he must have made a fortune on Christmas tips. He enjoys training with the first team and has got good ability. He's given his all and done well when he's had a chance.

Hameur Bouazza

Hameur's a great lad. He's quick, direct and strikes a great left-footed ball – which is amazing really, because he's got Monster Munch feet, his toes are in a right state. He came back from Swindon flying before his injury but he'll be back ahead of schedule and that's typical of his work-rate.

Marlon King

I've never seen a striker work so hard. He hates losing, even in five-a-sides, and I love that attitude. A lot of the younger lads look up to him and he's relished that role. He'd thrive in the Premiership for certain.

Joel Grant

He's so laid-back he falls over sometimes. Joel's naturally-gifted with great feet and good control. It's in his own hands how he progresses now and we're all hoping to see more of him in the next few years.

Darius Henderson

Big Hendo is strong as an ox and, for his size, he can really shift when he gets going. He's got a great goalscoring ratio and is a good target man in the air – just as well, really, as he's got the weakest feet in football, he's always getting blisters.

Theo Robinson

Theo's only 17 but he's got a confidence about himself which is great to see. And he's another Brummie so that's a big plus! He's slotted in really well at the end of this season and is prepared to learn so he's one for the future.

Gavin Mahon

A genuine, hard-working, powerful, committed captain – but then I would say that. I think the lads would say I always give 100 per cent. I've got a lot of style but if you've seen my red leather jacket you'll know that anyway. Look up suave in the dictionary and you'll find a picture of me on the page!

Aidy Boothroyd (Manager)

The gaffer's been a revelation. I was told he was a good coach but didn't realise how good until I worked with him. He gets the best out of players by instilling belief and confidence. What's great for the younger lads here is that they know if they're good enough they'll play. I wish I'd had managers like that when I was a kid. He's a great guy and his door's always open – I’ve got a great relationship with him.

Keith Burkinshaw (Assistant Manager)

Keith is a legend. When he speaks we listen. He plays the old fool but doesn't miss a trick. All the lads get on with him - you can have banter and also have a good one-to-one chat as well. It's hard to believe he's 71 but his wooden knee gives him away. He lives the country life and owns half of Welwyn.

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