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Gone but not forgotten:
Mark Boyce
Position: Full back
From: Youth team
Record: Played: 0
To: ??? - free transfer - January 1999
Career stats: Soccerbase
He was: At the back of the queue

Like so many I have seen in the Youth team over the years, I suggested that "that Boyce could be a good little player!"

In his first year in the Youth team, the team did well in the FA Youth Cup, losing to Scum 5-3 on penalties, and over the cup run Boycey started coming into a team which included the likes of Paul Robinson and Gifton Noel-Williams. Boycey did not look out of place, with forward runs and tough tackles now comparable to the ever-impressive Robbo.

Something then went wrong. He kept moving positions as some of the younger players were being brought through, and it was often a matter for the bookmakers as to which position he would be playing in. But he kept trying and got accepted as a pro at the end of last season at the last minute on a one year contract. With the Youth Academy starting up this year, Boycey was often used at the weekends as an Under 19 player, then during the week was put in with the reserves. It can't do much for your confidence to be playing against the likes of Dimitri Kharine one game, and a Peterborough sixteen year old the next. And so the clear promise, which is as yet unfulfilled, has been overlooked by Watford for yet another individual. You can't criticise the club for releasing him, as he simply has not done enough to be kept on with Robbo, Petch and numerous others seemingly ahead of him in the queue.

Good luck to Boycey, a nice bloke, good prospect and no doubt we will see him in Hendon colours before long!

Pete Fincham