Ladies 5 days ago

Ladies: Williams Appointed General Manager

Watford Football Club are delighted to announce that Grace Williams has been appointed the new General Manager of Watford FC Ladies.

A former Watford Academy and Centre of Excellence player, Grace is more than familiar with the Golden Girls and brings a wealth of footballing knowledge to the role. And, having also managed a fitness club, she has a rounded background that enables her to take on every challenge thrown at her and the Golden Girls moving forward. 

The first match under her stewardship will be this Sunday - Remembrance Day - as Head Coach Armand Kavaja’s side line up in a local derby against MK Dons Ladies at Kings Langley FC.

Williams, though, is already looking further forward to the challenges facing the Ladies in the short, mid, and long-term, and is relishing the prospect of taking the Golden Girls forward.

“It’s a dream [of mine], working for Watford FC, since being part of the academy as a young girl,” said Williams.

“Watford is an ambitious club and I relate to and appreciate the core values of the club, I think Watford FC Ladies are moving in the right direction and I want to be part of the growth and development of the club as well as Women’s football as a whole.”

That drive to push Women’s football - and Watford FC Ladies in particular - to its limit lie at the heart of Williams’ motivations.

“My goals are solely to promote and continue to represent to a high standard, Watford FC Ladies,” said the General Manager. 

“This can consist of league promotion, increasing our match day attendances, working with the local community and sponsors. 

“This isn’t just a job for me, football is my passion and I hope to show my commitment to the role with professionalism and dedication to what I am doing and going that extra mile for the club to achieve these goals.” 

Formerly an academy coach in the United States, Williams managed and coached her own teams in a town called Madison in Connecticut, working with boys and girls from Under-12 to Under-14 levels.

“It was amazing working in Women’s football in the USA,” said the former centre of excellence player. “Mainly because of the drive and passion for the majority of young girls to play football as their main sport.

“There is a clear importance to be involved and develop in America, which is something that is becoming apparent over here. I hope to bring over the importance of women’s football from youth to elite development and promote women’s football, especially, at Watford FC Ladies.”

Returning home, and in particular to a club that she’s more than familiar with, Williams said she was pleased to come full circle and help develop the club moving forward.

“It feels great to come back to what feels like my home club,” said Williams. “Growing up it was all Watford FC, so I feel immensely proud to now wear that badge and be involved in the Ladies’ club, and hopefully inspire and share my passion to others who want to be part of Watford FC Ladies.”

But first, before work can begin on the long-term ambitions of the club, a first taste of action at Kings Langley awaits, as third-placed Watford take on MK Dons on Sunday. Williams is looking forward to getting to know the supporters.

“Firstly, [I just want to say] thank you for your continuous support that you have shown the Ladies team,” said the General Manager. “I look forward to meeting you all at our next home game, please come and introduce yourself when you can! 

“At the end of the day, we are all here for Watford FC Ladies so I look forward to speaking to you all – come on you 'Orns!”


Watford FC Ladies play MK Dons Ladies this Sunday at Kings Langley FC, 3pm KO.

First Team 5 days ago

Opposition Focus: Southampton

By Adam Rowe

Find out more about our hosts ahead of this Saturday’s game at St Mary's Stadium (November 10, 3pm KO).


Factfile

Nickname: The Saints

Manager: Mark Hughes 

Stadium: St Mary’s - Capacity 32,505

Founded: 1885 

Trivia: Southampton were originally formed as a church team named St Mary’s Young Men’s Association F.C and this is where their nickname comes from.

Honours

FA Cup (1975-76)

Football League Trophy (2009/10)

Football League Division Three (1959-60)

Last Season

The Saints endured a nervy campaign last season as they only had their Premier League status confirmed on the final day of the season. The Saints hired Mark Hughes with eight league games remaining, after parting company with Mauricio Pellegrino. Hughes guided his new side to survival and also took the Saints to an FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley where they lost out to Chelsea. A big win followed at Swansea in a game that ultimately was the difference in their hunt for survival.

Last Time Out At St Mary's

Last time The Hornets made the trip to the South Coast to take on Southampton it was a great afternoon as they left 2-0 winners. Two fantastic strikes in either half from Abdoulaye Doucouré and Daryl Janmaat gave the Golden Boys a deserved three points. There were two goal of the season contenders for Watford that afternoon and it meant that the team returned to Hertfordshire unbeaten after the opening four games. 

The Boss - Mark Hughes

The Welshman joined The Saints in March of this year tasked with keeping the club in the Premier League. His side did just enough to remain in the top flight and Hughes will look back to vital wins against Bournemouth and relegation rivals Swansea City as the key to his sides survival. The former Stoke City boss will be hoping to use all his experience in the game to make sure The Saints have a more comfortable season this time around. 

One To Watch - Danny Ings

TThe English striker will be hoping to have an injury free season and get back to doing what he does best, scoring goals. The Saints marksman has made a good start to the season and The Hornets will be hoping to keep him quiet as the striker needs no invitation to find the back of the net. The on-loan Liverpool man has been plagued with injuries in the last few seasons and will be hoping to keep up his good start to the season when The Hornets visit St Mary’s on Saturday (November 10).

Played For Both - Jack Cork 

The English midfielder played for The Hornets in the second half of the 2008-2009 season after joining Watford on loan from Chelsea. Cork made 21 appearances for the Golden Boys, scoring just the once in a 4-3 FA Cup victory against Crystal Palace. After an initial loan in the same season as his stint with the Hornets, Cork returned to Southampton on a permanent deal in 2011. The midfielder played every game in The Saints’ promotion from The Championship in 2011-12, he then remained at the club until 2015 before moving onto Swansea City. He made 152 appearances and scored three goals in his time at St Mary’s. 

A Game To Remember - Southampton 0-3 Watford 

On New Year’s Day in 2008 The Hornets made the trip to the South Coast and came back victorious as they comprehensively beat The Saints. Goals from Damien Francis, Marlon King and Darius Henderson meant the Hornets stayed right amongst the promotion-chasing pack.