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Gone but not forgotten:
Nick Williams
Position: Defender
From: Watford FC Academy
Record: Played: 0 Scored: 0
To: ??? - Free transfer - February 2003
He was: The bloke no-one knew who played in a pre-season friendly at Brentford

Standing on the terrace at Brentford for a pre-season friendly, a young ginger-haired chap wandered out to play for the Hornets - and, anoraks apart, no one knew who the hell he was. Fittingly, he didn't seem to know any of his colleagues during the match. It was Nick Williams, an earnest young defender just one year out of Academy football, flung into action by Ray Lewington, who he'd obviously impressed as part of the Reserves the previous season.

Nick probably didn't realise it at the time, but his shocking Griffin Park display represented his chance gone. Ray hadn't at that time decided on his defensive line-up so there was Nick, with his big chance to shine, and he blew it.

Like Barrie Matthews, Nick came from Cirencester's Academy, Watford Academy coach David Hockaday's old manor in the summer of 2000 to join the Hornets' youth set-up. Noted for time spent in the treatment room with a persistent back complaint, Nick appeared rarely for the Reserves but, when he did, his performances were assured and commanding, belying his lack of height and supposed physical presence.

Another young lad to join the list of professionals with little to do except send CVs out come the summer, and another who Luca Vialli insisted on sucking all confidence out of by providing him with no experienced partners in the forgettable 2001/02 Reserve team campaign.