First Team 12/06/2019

Cathcart: “I Feel At Home”

Craig Cathcart says that Watford feels like “home” to him after signing a new four-year contract with the Hornets.

The defender’s extended deal takes him through to 2023, committing the centre-back to the club through his peak years as Cathcart, now 30, looks to add to his 146 appearances for the Golden Boys.

Having initially joined on loan from Manchester United in 2009, the Northern Ireland international has been rewarded for his consistent performances since re-joining the club in 2014.

Cathcart says coming in to work for Watford every day, in an environment that is both comfortable and ever-improving, is one of the main reasons behind extending his stay in Hertfordshire.

“I feel at home, I’m comfortable and it’s a family club,” said the defender. “I enjoy coming here every day to work, it’s a nice atmosphere and when things are going well it’s even better.

“My family love living here and things are going well. We had a great season last season with the team, and everything is looking positive. I’m delighted to stay.

“The club has been on an upward swing since I’ve come here and I don’t want it to stop now, I want it to carry on.

“We want to push on again and be competitive as a team. You want to be successful as a team and as an individual player as well, and that’s what I’m looking forward to in the next four years, hopefully.”

Coming off the back of the Hornets' highest-ever Premier League finish and a first FA Cup final in 35 years would ordinarily be enough for any player to want to extend their contract.

But, if you factor in that Cathcart has also had his best season at the club as an individual – with 41 appearances, three goals and an assist to boot – it’s a no-brainer to tie down a player that was a near ever-present for Javi Gracia’s side in 2018/19.

“On a personal level it’s been great, I managed to play a lot of games and I’ve been able to help the team with a few goals.

“The way we started with four wins was special, but the thing that stands out was the semi-final against Wolves. It sticks in your mind as the best game, the way we were down and we came back – we showed our spirit.

“There are a lot of positives to take. We competed well in the majority of the games, we went on good runs, and though we were a little disappointed in how things ended, there were a lot of positives to take in how we performed all season. I think the fans enjoyed the cup run, and we’ll be raring to go when we’re back in for pre-season.”

Now entering his sixth consecutive year at Watford, Cathcart is as ambitious as those behind-the-scenes in wanting to show just how far the Hornets can go.

“[The club] can go as far as it wants to go. At the start of last season we set out to get into the top 10 – we didn’t get it, but that just gives us even more incentive this year to push on again, and the club’s always getting better.

“The stadium looks fantastic, it’s a great place for the fans to come and watch us. Every time you come back to the changing room for pre-season something’s moved, they are adding stuff on – it’s a really good environment to be in.”

First Team 12/06/2019

Fixtures 2019/20: Vital Information

With the 2019/20 Premier League fixtures being released this week, here’s a handy guide detailing everything you need to know as we gear up to find out who Watford will be facing and when during the forthcoming campaign.

Where and when can I see Watford’s fixtures?

The Hornets’ 2019/20 Premier League fixture list will be released at 9am on Thursday (June 13) here at as well as via the club’s social media channels – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Can I add the fixtures to my calendar?

You sure can! Click HERE to sync your online calendar with all the club’s 2019/20 fixtures, which will be uploaded at 9am on Thursday. Dates and times will be automatically updated whenever matches are moved, and you can also add home and away ticket on-sale dates as well as Watford FC Ladies fixtures. You can sync anywhere in the world and it will default to the correct time zone.

When will the season start and end?

The Premier League season is scheduled to begin on Saturday August 10, 2019, although there may be a televised match to kick things off on the evening of Friday August 9. The final games of the season will be played on Sunday May 17, 2020.

Is it true there’ll be a mid-season break?

Correct – 2019/20 will be the first campaign to incorporate a mid-season player break. All 10 matchweek fixtures will be split 50-50 over two weekends in February, with a decision on how the games will be separated only made once TV picks have been chosen later in the year. 

Are there any other changes?

Yes, as a result of the newly-introduced mid-season break, as of next season all FA Cup fifth round ties will be played midweek rather than over the weekend.

How is the fixture list compiled?

It’s a good question, and one which our friends at the Premier League have kindly answered thanks to a useful Q&A with compiler Glenn Thompson which can be found HERE.

Who are we playing on the opening day?

Nice try! All we do know is that Watford are now unbeaten in the last 12 opening day fixtures. Click HERE to take a look back at that impressive run.