Monday, 5 August 2013

Milk (Cup) is Good for You

The future is bright. The future is yellow.
Here at From the Rookery End we take a keen interest in Watford's youth development, so we were delighted to learn that podcast listener Colin Cowan was at the Milk Cup tournament in Northern Ireland. We were even happier when he kindly agreed to share his views on the Watford side that took part with us, and here he gives us his top 3 players from the tournament.

As we hoped, it looks like the future is bright...

Last week the Watford  U15 side took part in the prestigious Milk Cup Tournament in Northern Ireland. After suffering penalty heartache in the semi-final, they managed to clinch third spot after a convincing 6-2 victory over Liverpool.

Having watched the team for three out of the five days this week, I have decided who my top 3 players from the side are, ones that in years to come could go on to feature in our first team...

3. Michael Folivi - The young striker has had an impressive week, showing a great partnership with fellow striker Ogo Obi. They showed a great example of this in the build-up to the first goal in the semi-final. He also knows where the back of the net is as he scored in the opening game against County Down and also in the convincing 10-0 win over San Luis de Colina.

2. Panos Armenakas – The left winger showed some fantastic skill in the semi-final against Everton. After scoring the first with a wonderful right footed low shot, he played a fabulous ball to Folivi in the build-up to the second goal. I feel in Armenakas we have got a real talent on our hands. I think he has a great chance of making it into the first team in the new few years, despite his young age. His 3 goals in 4 games for a left midfielder is not a bad return. He also takes all of the sides set pieces and showed he is an excellent crosser of the ball. He has very quick feet and showed time and time again that he likes to take on defenders. At times he would take on three defenders and still come out with the ball stuck to his feet!

1. Ogo Obi – This young striker certainly knows how to put the ball in the back of the net! His return of 10 goals in 5 games is just fantastic. He started with three consecutive braces followed by a fantastic free kick in the semi-final. He ended the tournament with a hat trick, including scoring the game winning goal. In the opening game he scored after 7 seconds and he followed that up in the next game by scoring after 35 seconds, this one a delightful chip over the keeper. Throughout the tournament he showed that when one on one with the keeper he is unstoppable! He is certainly my player of the week.

Other players that impressed and were very tough to leave out of my top 3 were David Sesay, who scored a brilliant hat trick in the game against San Luis de Colina. In the centre of midfield, Max Makaka was very impressive, showing some lovely touches and he isn’t afraid of having a shot at goal! The centre back pairing of Jacob Cook and Connor Stevens were also very impressive, both commanding centre backs who like to play the ball out from the back instead of getting rid of it at the first attempt.

The week was a very successful one for everyone involved. The team played some fabulous football, mirroring the style of play that we saw week in week out at Vicarage Road last season. I wouldn't be surprised if the three mentioned make it into the first team in the next couple of years. They still have a long way to go but they are certainly on the right path! 

Thanks very much to Colin for sharing his thoughts. You can follow him on Twitter at @colinic
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