From: Youth team
Record: Played: 21(16) Scored: 6
To: ??? - free transfer - January 1999
Career stats: Soccerbase
He was: Left behind
Let's get the obvious out of the way first, shall we? Wayne Andrews was fast. That's "fast", as in
defenders hitting perfectly decent backpasses and finding Linford Christie in a yellow
shirt nipping in to intercept. As in opposition fans jeering as a Watford player misplaces
a pass and finding Linford Christie in a yellow shirt nipping in to keep the ball in play. As
in "he won't get that...nah, no chance...JESUS CHRIST!".
Which is nice. For a while in 96/97, Wayne Andrews scared the hell out of various
Second Division defences and looked set to become the season's success story. And time froze.
Unlike Gifton Noel-Williams, his former youth team strike partner, Andrews has simply not
progressed. If you remove his pace from the equation, you leave a player who has poor
vision, who gets caught offside too often, who picks up bookings for petulance, who hasn't
fulfilled his potential. While Gifton's added new qualities to his game, Andrews is
still very much the same player he was two years ago.
That's not entirely his fault - a broken ankle ruled him out of much of the 97/98 season,
including periods when Watford's attack could've done with an injection of pace. But
what appears to be missing is maturity - while you may not be able to improve your skills on
the treatment table, you can certainly still grow up.
So, of that much-touted youth team strikeforce, only one has succeeded at
Vicarage Road. But fifty percent ain't bad, especially when that fifty percent is Gifton