From: Watford FC Academy
Career stats: Soccerbase
He is: On a steep learning curve
Watford could make a habit of grooming centre-backs who aren't really tall enough to cut it in the Coca-Cola Championship - Junior Osborne is one such example of this, Adrian Mariappa another.
However, this is not necessarily a barrier to his eventual success, merely a hurdle to be overcome. After all, it hasn't done Lloyd Doyley any harm and versatility is key to any squad these days.
Osborne made his debut against West Ham United at the end of last season at left-back - a position he, by his own admission (in my post-match interview as WFC Press Officer at the time) had never played. Used to teaming up in the middle with Mariappa at youth team level, he was pitched in on the left against the Hammers and aquitted himself well against Shawn Newton in a 2-1 defeat.
He starred in the youth side's run the FA Youth Cup Quarter-Final last season and spoke after the West Ham game of having 'waited a long time' for his chance. He has a long way to go before becoming anything like good enough to compete at this level but the raw ingredients are all there - pace, power, speed and good positional sense.
Experience will come with time, with perhaps a loan spell to League Two in the future not such a bad idea.
Last updated: November 2005