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
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
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
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.