First Team 1 week ago

Watch: What Is Success?

Isaac Success sat down with our cameras for an in-depth interview about his African upbringing, his breakthrough trial and his rise in football across Europe with Udinese, Granada and now Watford.

The Hornets striker discussed his upbringing in Nigeria, where he was forced to find ways of feeding himself and his family, going as far as sneaking into weddings to find something to eat.

“It was tough,” he said. “Sometimes there was security and when we got thrown out we had to plead with them. We would offer to do something like pack up the bottles or the plates. Sometimes we got lucky and sometimes we didn’t get lucky and we’ll just go home from there.”

Football has always been a passion for Success and, even though he had very little money to hand, he always found ways to watch the sport he loves.

“I would go to the sports centre to watch football but before I could watch I would clean the chairs before I could get in, because I had no money to pay and watch,” he said. “I would sit on the floor and go home after so I’ve always had a passion for the game.”

Growing up in Benin City in Nigeria, Success did not have access to pitches to play on with his friends, but this did not stop him.

“We used to play on the street, me and my friends against the boys on the next street,” he said. “What makes it more fun is when we had a globe light and we wrapped it in gold cigarette paper to look like the World Cup.

“We would put it somewhere and look for a referee to officiate it and after whoever wins would take the trophy. We were really passionate about it but it was just a globe and a cigarette wrapper, it brought more emotions to it. I would think about playing in the biggest stadiums and it being a proper trophy.

When I was on the street I remember the team came to Benin City and I remember thinking ‘someday I want to be there and wear the jersey’. Seeing myself wear the jersey a couple of times, its everything for me – it’s crazy. I think it makes you strong, but I want to be stronger.

First Team 1 week ago

Mariappa: “We Know The Importance Of This Game”

Adrian Mariappa has battled it out in countless huge games throughout his career, and the experienced defender knows the Hornets’ trip to Southampton is as important as any.

“It is a big game, we’re all aware of that so we have been working hard in the week looking forward to it,” said Mariappa. “When you’re playing the teams in and around you, they’re always massive games and we know the extra importance of this game. All we can do is take care of business in training and transfer it onto the pitch.”

After weeks of gradual improvement, the Hornets picked up a first league win of the season against Norwich City, but faced a setback with a defeat against Burnley at Vicarage Road.

“The longer it goes it will get tougher and tougher,” he said. “The lads have stayed professional and at the end of the day all we can do is train hard and try to put things right against Southampton. In the last few weeks we have made steps forward. Last Saturday wasn’t great for us but we’ve got an opportunity to put it right and kick on from there.

“As far as the team selection goes, the gaffer will lay out the game plan and the team that he feels will get us the win. Then it’s about us on the pitch, performing and doing all we can to get the three points.”

This season’s slow start has come as a shock to everyone after the highs of last campaign and Maraiappa knows that, but the 33-year-old has experienced how quickly things can change in football and thinks the Hornets have what it takes to turn things around.

“It’s something you can’t put your finger on,” he said. “Last season is last season and things change quickly in football. I’ve been in situations before where you haven’t won in a while and it gets tougher the longer it goes. At the end of the day it’s about us and our character to show the quality in the squad to get out of this situation we are in.

“We’re not looking any further forward than the game at Southampton and I don’t think we can. In the situation we are in we have to take every game as it comes, and our full focus is on the weekend. It’s a tough game for us and an important one. All we can do is give everything in that game.”