Official: Manning Signs Professional Terms

By: Watford FC Staff

Young Watford midfielder Adian Manning has put pen to paper on his first professional contract.

The 18-year-old has been rewarded for his efforts in the 2021/22 season, a campaign which included an unforgettable winner against Cardiff City in the FA Youth Cup, debuting in Omer Riza’s Under-23 side and training with the first-team. Manning also spent time out on loan in the second half of last season, turning out for Kings Langley and Biggleswade Town.

The youngster signed for Watford aged eight, and has ascended through the ranks year-by-year through hard work and determination.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Manning. “Especially coming from Watford so young, coming through each age group and finally signing my contract now, it’s a great achievement and I’m over the moon, and a bit speechless!”

Manning played 116 minutes of a thrilling FA Youth Cup contest against Chelsea which ultimately ended in narrow defeat, threatening on several occasions with precise and dangerous set-pieces.

“The FA Youth Cup game against Chelsea was really memorable for me last season, and training with the first-team was another proud moment,” reflected Manning.

Already hard at work and looking to continue his rise in 2022/23, Manning started for the Hornets’ first-team in their opening pre-season game against Cambridge United, sharing the midfield with Dan Gosling and Tom Dele-Bashiru in the first half.

With childhood friends Shaq Forde and Ryan Andrews also signing professional terms over the summer, Manning expressed his pride at the trio succeeding at Watford over the last decade.

He said: “Ryan and Shaq have been like my brothers from very young so to grow up with them and to have all signed our contracts now is an amazing feeling. Hopefully there’s much more to come from all of us.”

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