Getting To Know: Hamzat Balogun

By: Watford FC Staff

The academy question-and-answer series shines a light on some of the best upcoming talent at Watford, quizzing a selection of Young Hornets about their journey in and outside of football.

Next up to take on the questions is highly-rated full-back Hamzat Balogun.

The 16-year-old joined the Hornets from Manchester United in August 2021 and has featured regularly for Tom Hart's Under-18s this campaign, including against Chelsea and Cardiff City in the FA Youth Cup.

How would you describe your playing style?
I’m an attacking and defensive full-back. I’d say I’m pretty quick and good on the ball, and I used to look up to David Alaba before he moved to centre-back. I’m versatile, and I have played left-back in a few games this season as well as in my more natural position on the right.

Favourite current Watford footballer?
I’m a big fan of Emmanuel Dennis, even though he doesn’t play in my position. He is an agile player, positive on the ball, and isn’t afraid to take people on. It’s good to have characters and players like that in the team.

Biggest influence?
I’d say my uncle. Before I came to Watford, he was the one that was helping me stay fit and remain in the best shape possible. He would take me out in the mornings, and I would train in the evenings. He was doing a lot for me.

Favourite football kit?
I really like the Nigeria international kit from the 2018 World Cup. I was a big fan of the design and colourway.

Favourite boots?
I have two - either the Puma Future boots or the Adidas Xs. I wear Puma boots at the moment, and I really like the way they feel. I feel much safer wearing them and it’s a tighter fit which can help me when I’m playing. I have them in turquoise, green and dark blue.

Favourite footballing memory?
When I was at Manchester United I played in my first ever tournament over in Poland, and we won it. It was the first time I had ever been abroad, and it was great. At Watford, I would say the FA Youth Cup game against Chelsea earlier this season was great. It was a very good night in front of the fans.

Most talented teammate?
I would say Adrian Blake. I think many people have picked him, but he’s just very good on the ball and he is hugely positive in attack. You can rely on him to get a goal or make something happen, and I would never hesitate to give him the ball.

Favourite things to do when not playing football?
I play a lot of PlayStation, and I like to watch films and anime. I’m on FIFA a lot, but not so much on Ultimate Team at the moment. A film I watched recently was A Fall from Grace on Netflix, which was pretty good.

Best footballing advice you’ve received?
Always try to be happy. My dad always told me that when you’re happy you always tend to play the best and you feel more confident. You aren’t afraid of trying anything or doing something that will make you stand out. Find things that will make you happy to support what you are doing.

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