First Team 01/06/2016

Official | Hornets Confirm Retained & Released Players

WATFORD FC can confirm its retained list following the end of the 2015/16 season.

Joel Ekstrand will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June. The Swedish defender, who signed for the Hornets in 2012, made 100 appearances during four years at Vicarage Road, scoring twice. 

The Hornets have taken the option to extend the professional contract of Alex Jakubiak for a further year, after the 19-year-old striker enjoyed a prolific season in front of goal for the club's Under-21 side. 

Under-21 players George Byers, Josh Doherty, Matt Hall, Uche Ikpeazu, Jorell Johnson, Mahlondo Martin, Bernard Mensah, Luke Simpson and Alfie Young have all been released. 

Second-year Academy scholars Andrew Eleftheriou, Nathan Gartside, Brandon Mason, Rhyle Ovenden, Charlie Rowan and Connor Stevens have all been offered professional contracts after impressing during a title-winning season for the club's Under-18s, while Jacob Cook and Max Makaka will leave Watford at their end of their scholarships. 

Watford FC would like to wish all departing players the best of luck for the future, and thank them for their contributions while at Vicarage Road. 

First Team 27/05/2016

Deeney | “It’s Been An Enjoyable Journey”

WITH the dust now settled on the Golden Boys' first season back in the top-flight for eight years, skipper Troy Deeney has had his say on the campaign, which of course was his first in the Premier League. 

Deeney looks back at the 2015/16 season as a whole, reviewing some key parts along the way, including his new role in the team, praise for strike partner Odion Ighalo, and his goal at Wembley Stadium. 

Below are some extracts from Deeney's in-depth exclusive interview, and you can also watch the video above for part two of the full interview with the club's official YouTube channel. Part one can be found at the bottom of this article. 

TROY ON INAUGURAL YEAR IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE:

“It’s been good; it does seem a long time ago that we were talking about the Premier League and getting prepared for it. It’s been an enjoyable journey, frustrating at times, but it’s made me appreciate that I’m not a bad footballer. At the start you have the ‘am I good enough’ questions lingering in the back of your mind. The team as a whole did really well though, and personally, 15 goals in my first year in the Premier League and nine or 10 assists, it’s not bad.” 

TROY ON NEW ROLE IN THE TEAM:

“It was new, and it was a challenge. Anyone that knows me will know that I like a challenge, but this one was different because I had actual number 10s not playing who could probably do the job better than me. There was a clear difference when I was playing in that role. I was isolated on the first game of the season at Everton, but against Swansea when Iggy was up top, the gap was bridged because I was pushing up, which allowed the midfield to push up." 

TROY ON IGHALO’S 2015 & FIRST PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON: 

“He had a great partner! In that calendar year, anything he hit went in and he deserved it. When he first joined he was coming to a new country, a new style of football, but he dug in. He did really well and he has a new challenge now. He had a fantastic season this year scoring 17 goals in all competitions which shouldn’t be sniffed at. A lot of pressure will be on him now, but a good goalscorer will always score goals.”

TROY ON WEMBLEY GOAL: 

“For the first week I wasn’t happy [with the result], but the longer it goes on and I think about that moment, it’s only one of a few moments that I thought 'wow'. As soon as it hit my head the crowd went wild. I’ve watched it back a few times and you see people’s faces, it’s a quality moment. The FA Cup run was a bit frustrating in the end, we beat the holders but it wasn’t to be.”