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End of Term Report Part 8 02/07/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

I need to get a shifty on with this.  July starts and retrospectives tend to lose their relevance…

32. Lewis Young

Here’s a big ask.  At least Jack Smith had the good sense to show up playing in a different position… and big brother never quite hit the dizzy and immediate heights that Ashley Young has done, even if he went on to capture our affections more lastingly and comprehensively.  Lewis Young has looked bright and interesting on his odd outings and yet… you’d rather hope that we’d have seen a bit more of him by now.  He’ll be 20 in September;  by that age… you see, there I go again.

Next Season: Time for Lewis to forge his own identity, perhaps.

33. Liam Henderson

There’s nothing quite so endearing as a young player coming in and giving it a bit of welly.  That Liam shared a surname with a recently departed predecessor in the same position who built much of his game around doing just that was always going to win him brownie points.  I’d like to be convinced that there’s more to come from Liam though;  spending most of his half-season at Hartlepool struggling to get on the pitch wasn’t hugely encouraging.  It would be good to see Liam do well, you can’t have too many aggro centre-forwards.  The suspicion already is that he may need to drop down a level or two to get some action.

Next Season:  needs to get on the pitch somewhere… another loan looks possible.

34. Dale Bennett

Twenty rugged minutes against West Ham comprise Bennett’s first-team action for the Hornets thus far;  Bennett spent the second half of the season playing for Kettering in the Conference, put in a decent shift against Fulham in the FA Cup and was compared to Frank Sinclair on Poppies messageboards which may or may not be a good thing.  As with Liam Henderson, Bennett fits a certain stereotype quite nicely.

Next Season:  Only a one-year extension, Bennett’s going to need to demonstrate that he can carry his good form with Kettering to a higher level.

35. Ross Jenkins

Bloody hell.  I mean, bloody hell.  Tommy Smith, at the time of writing, looks to be heading off, destination as yet unspecified but I really don’t want it to be Reading.  I don’t want Tommy to go, he’s a good guy and a terrific player, and much as we need the money and he’s 29 and a year on his contract yadda yadda yadda.  But Jenkins.  Jenkins will be a star.  And he’s our gem, our secret to enjoy for a year or two yet surely?  He’s not going to get a lot of goals, he’s not going to grab anyone who’s not paying attention.  It’s just that bastard at Reading we’ve got to worry about.  Three summers ago, Watford player Northwood in a pre-season friendly.  Harry Forrester, aged 15, came on and looked exciting and impish if exceedingly lightweight for forty five minutes.  Ross Jenkins, the same age, played the whole game at right back and nobody noticed.  Holy mary.

Next Season:  He’s the one I hope we hang on to.  Really. 

38. Rob Kiernan

With due apologies to Eddie Oshodi and Marvin Sordell, whose squad numbers weren’t followed up with any first-team action to go on, we skip on to number 38.  Kiernan is being talked up and a call-up to the Irish U19 squad is encouraging;  having been moved from midfield to centre-back last season however, the last thing he probably needed was to make his senior debut at right-back of all places.  He was promptly skinned by Palace’s Paul Ifill, a stigma that will take some recovering from.

Next Season: Knocking on the door, some loan action doesn’t seem out of the question.


1. Old Git - 03/07/2009

Eric Winsatnley! (sorry to keep this old chain of comments going, Matt but us old ‘uns tend to live in the past). I remember him scoring twice against us in a 2-1 home defeat, after Brian Owen had put us ahead after only 12 seconds. Which, I think I’m right in saying, is the quickest ever WFC goal.

And Dale Bennett should give up his footballing ambitions now. Surely, a career as a private detective awaits…

2. Minty Jaffa - 03/07/2009

Now, old git, I think your onto a winner….

Glory orns who have good names to be a PI, a couple, for starters and debate;

Devon White
Cliff Holton
Dixie Hale

3. NickB - 03/07/2009

John Farley (brother of Charley, obviously)
Larry McGettigan
Bill Baxter (again)
Walter Lees (down at heel Scottish gumshoe)
Freddie Bunce

with apologies to MR

4. Sequel - 03/07/2009

I give you: George Reilly, private eye. Or even: George Reilly, Ace of Spies. On second thoughts, that’d never work……

5. Luther Missit - 03/07/2009

Les Taylor
Maurice Johnstone…

… Johnny Barnes 😉

6. Old Git - 03/07/2009

I regret to inform you that the Old Git has been taken into a care home for a couple of weeks. I hope he will have recuperated sufficiently to be wheeled to the friendly at Hampton in a couple of weeks……

7. Dave Hart - 03/07/2009

I’m not so sure if Lewis Young is going to make it. The constant, and quite natural, comparisons with Ashley will continue to hold him back. As you said Matt, it doesn’t help that he plays in the same position as his brother. At least Jack was a completely different type of player, and looked different too.

We need a way to take the pressure off of him, so that he can forge his own path in the game. He does have good technical ability though.

With the exception of Jenkins, for me, Henderson is the prize asset of our current crop of kids. In my eyes, he is without doubt the best centre forward we have had come through our ranks in several years, Gifton being the last talented striker. Having said that, there hasn’t been many good strikers to compare him with.

I was surprised that Bennett was given a new deal,albeit only one year. He must have had very good reviews from his loan spell.

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