First Team 27/07/2019

Okaka: “I’m Happy To See Pereyra Again, He’s Like My Brother”

By Kevin Affleck

Stefano Okaka is looking forward to being reunited with his big pal Roberto Pereyra when the Argentina international returns to the club this weekend.

Pereyra’s extended season, lasting nearly 11 months and 43 games, only ended earlier this month as he was part of the La Albiceleste side that reached the semi-final of the Copa America. Head Coach Javi Gracia gave his chief playmaker three weeks off to recharge his batteries before summoning him back to the training base in London Colney on Saturday.

Okaka and Pereyra have struck up a real bond since they joined the club in the summer of 2016 and are regularly seen sitting around the canteen at the training ground long after everyone has gone.

“I am happy to see him again as he’s like my brother,” said Okaka who left in January to join Udinese on loan. “I saw him doing good in the Copa America and I will be waiting for him at the training ground. We are like brothers as he knows how hard it was for me one years ago with injury and a few things. And when he was injured, I did the same for him. We are close and we spend a lot of time together. He’s a funny guy and we take care of each other.”

It speaks volumes for where the club finds itself at right now that they have a player who has spent the summer training with Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero, Angel Di Maria in their ranks. He played 37 times last season, scored eight goals and was involved in his own goal-of-the-season competition at one point.

“He’s a fantastic player,” said Okaka. “He’s a quality player and he was born to play football. Watford is lucky to have him at the club.”

Ladies 26/07/2019

Ladies: Ward Signs For 2019/20!

Watford Football Club is pleased to confirm that striker Helen Ward has continued her contract and captaincy with Watford FC Ladies.

Ward has had an impressive career in the Women’s game, with spells at Arsenal, Chelsea, and Reading.

She lead by example last season on and off the pitch, and in Watford's 2018/19 campaign she secured the Golden Girls 18 goals in 20 appearances.

Ward will also continue to undertake work in the media and marketing team at the club, being the face of the Golden Girls in the local community. 

“We are absolutely delighted that Helen will still be with us next season,” said Head Coach Armand Kavaja.

“We are looking to make an impact this season and she will undoubtedly be a great asset for us on the pitch.

“The young players here have learnt a great deal from Helen and she is a great role model for other players and young girls in the community.

“Along with the quality of players we have been able to recruit and retain, the coaching staff and I are all looking forward to what we hope will be an extremely positive season.”

Ward won the Watford FC Ladies’ Player of the Year, Player's Player of the Year, and Fans’ Player of the Year awards in 2018/19

On the international stage, Ward still holds the goal scoring record for Wales, with an impressive return of 42 goals in 88 games.

“We are building something special here at Watford and I am thrilled to have signed another year.,” said Ward.

“I am excited to get going for the season, we have had a positive pre-season and we are making some good signings to add to the value we already have. We really appreciate the support from the club and with increased training time on the pitch, it can only improve us as squad.”