First Team 4 weeks ago

My Matchday: Will Hughes

The Golden Boys talk us through their matchday rituals, routines & habits.


MY DIET

There’s usually food set out for us. There’s a limited choice but pre-match I’d have quite a lot of carbs and then a bit of fruit. I’m not really superstitious with food, whatever they put out, I’ll normally eat.


MY JOURNEY

We’ve got our own seats on the coach, so it’s already laid out as to where everyone sits. Sometimes I’ll listen to music, sometimes I won’t, I’m not very particular.


MY MUSIC

My favourite genre is probably indie, but the boys play all sorts of different music. There’s a lot of cultures in the dressing room and I don’t mind some of the foreign music they play before a game, it gets you going. 


MY PRE-MATCH

I’ll go out and look at the pitch first. I’ll then come in, start drinking my Red Bull, get a bit of treatment and have a quick flick through the programme. All pretty straightforward for me.


MY BOOTS

At the moment I’m flicking between a few pairs, I’m just trying a few out really to see which suit me best. I’m more old school when it comes to boots.


MY KIT

It just depends on the weather really. If it’s cold I’ll wear under armour, but I like to keep it simple.


MY SUPERSTITION

I used to have a couple. I remember I used to always walk on the pitch with my left foot first but I kind of grew out of it and I don’t really have any superstitions anymore.


MY POST-MATCH

It depends on the result really. If we’ve lost and I’ve played badly I’ll probably be sulking. I won’t really want to see anyone and I’ll just go home and do nothing. But if we’ve won and I’ve played well I’ll go out for some food with my friends and family.

First Team 1 month ago

Premier League Rule Changes: VAR, Handball, Substitutes & More

A series of new rules are set to be introduced when the 2019/20 Premier League season kicks off in August.

Here’s everything you’ll need to know ahead of the opening weekend, when Watford host Brighton at Vicarage Road (Saturday August 10).

DROPPED BALL
When play is stopped, the ball will be dropped for a player on the team which last touched the ball – unless it’s stopped inside the penalty area, in which case it’ll be dropped for the goalkeeper. All other players on both teams must be at least 4.5 yards away.

FREE KICK
Players on the attacking team are not allowed within one yard of a wall containing three or more defenders. Infringements will be punished with an indirect free kick.

GOAL CELEBRATIONS
Illegal celebrations, such as removing the shirt, will still be punished with a yellow card even if the goal is disallowed.

HANDBALL
If a player handling the ball leads to a chance or a goal, they will be penalised even if accidental. A foul will also be given where a player’s arms have been raised above shoulder-height (unless it has touched their hand/arm after being deliberately played) or if they have made their body ‘unnaturally’ bigger. 

GOAL KICK
The ball will be in play as soon as the kick is taken, meaning opposition players will not have to wait until it has left the penalty area before contesting it.

VAR 
Where there has been a clear and obvious error, the video assistant referee will advise the match referee on situations involving goals, penalties, straight red cards (not second yellow cards) and cases of mistaken identity. Decisions can also be reviewed by the referee via a touchline TV.

KICK-OFF
The team winning the toss can now choose either to take the kick-off or which goal to attack, whereas previously they only had the choice of the latter.

SUBSTITUTES
In order to crack down on time-wasting, players being substituted must leave the pitch from the nearest point of the touchline or goal line, unless permitted to leave via the half-way line for safety or injury reasons.

PENALTY KICK
Goalkeepers must have at least one foot on the goal line when a penalty is taken, or in line with it if jumping. They cannot stand behind (or in front of) the line.

TEAM OFFICIALS
Yellow and red cards can be shown to team officials guilty of misconduct. If the offender cannot be identified, the senior coach in the technical area at the time – usually the Head Coach/manager – will be penalised.