Deeney: “I'll Get To Introduce The Team To Royalty”
Troy Deeney never thought he would have the chance to meet royalty – but the Watford captain could have the opportunity to introduce his side to Prince William on Saturday.
The Duke of Cambridge is set to attend this weekend’s FA Cup final between the Hornets and Manchester City and will meet both teams prior to kick-off before awarding the trophy to the winner.
Deeney, who had a challenging upbringing in Chelmsley Wood, has become a key figure for the Golden Boys and admitted the chance to meet the Prince is one of a number of little details that have brought the magnitude of Saturday’s match to the fore.
However, the 30-year-old is bullish about Watford’s chances too, saying the Hornets “didn’t get called out for a lucky ticket” to be in the final.
The skipper insists Javi Gracia’s side have earned the right to face City after a thrilling cup run that has seen Woking, Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers all swept aside.
After a record-breaking season for the Golden Boys in the Premier League, there is now just one game remaining in the 2018/19 season – and it’s the biggest and most highly-anticipated one of all.
“Only in the last 10 days or so has it started to sink in what it really means,” said Deeney.
“I'm from low income housing and we don't get to meet royalty and if I'm starting I'll get to introduce my team to royalty.
“I've been involved in every game in some way. There's going to be a good showing back home from my lot. I want to show it's not a one-off.
“Tactically, Javi will have us spot on but the biggest thing this season has been the fitness. Yes, there's the odd injury here and there but he'll know what to do and for him it's about enjoying it as well.
“He's been great – he’s a lovely human being. He never comes out and talks about what he did. It's always what the players did.
“We didn't get called out for a lucky ticket from a raffle to play in the final against City, we earned it.
“We understand what we need to do, and we've got the quality to score goals.
“We’re not little old Watford any more - we’re becoming a team others don't want to play.”
Saturday may also mark the end of Heurelho Gomes’ time at the club after five successful seasons with the Hornets, after the Brazilian admitted he is “99 per cent certain” he's hanging up his gloves.
Deeney is grateful to have shared the pitch and the dressing room with the fan favourite and thinks there may be a touch of fate about this cup run.
“He's not just a great goalkeeper, he's a great human being,” he added. “He inspires me to be a better person because of how he is.
“We had a moment after Crystal Palace [in the quarter-final] where he was caught on camera crying, and you just think it might be his moment of destiny.”