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

Official: Extended Cathcart Contract Confirmed

Craig Cathcart has committed to another four years at Watford after signing a new contract with the Hornets.

The Northern Ireland international has agreed to an extended deal which takes him through to 2023.

In total, the defender - who arrived at Vicarage Road permanently in 2014 after a spell on loan in 2009 - has racked up 146 appearances for Watford, scoring seven goals.

Over the past five years he has played an integral part in the Hornets' rise from the Championship to achieving a best ever Premier League finish, as well as the club's first FA Cup final in 35 years.

The ex-Manchester United centre-half was a near ever-present in Javi Gracia's back-four last season, chipping in with three goals, including the winner in a memorable 2-1 victory over Tottenham.