Watford returned to the Premier League for the first time in 8 years, after they won promotion from the Championship by finishing as runners-up to Bournemouth in 2014/15. It was the third time Watford had been promoted to the Premier League and last season was the first time they managed to escape immediate relegation after finishing bottom in 1999/00 and 2006/07.
Watford’s nickname is ‘The Hornets’, the nickname was chosen by the club’s supporters because they play in yellow and black. A hornet is a type of large wasp. There used to be a hornet on the club badge but it was replaced by a hart, which is an old-fashioned word for ‘stag’, which is a male deer. The hart is used because Watford is in Hertfordshire, a region of England that traditionally had many deer.
Watford play their home matches at Vicarage Road, which has a capacity of 21,577 and have played there since 1920. Two of the stadium’s stands are named after two of Watford’s most famous sons. The Graham Taylor Stand is named after the former England manager, who helped Watford to second place in the top division and the FA Cup Final in the 1980s. The Elton John Stand is named after the singer, who used to own the club. Both Graham Taylor and Elton John are honorary life presidents of Watford FC.
Watford have never won a major trophy in English football. The closest they came was in 1982-83 when they finished second in the first division when Liverpool won the title. They also got to the 1983-84 FA Cup Final but lost 2-0 to Everton. Watford also played in Europe for the first and only ever time when they played in the 1983/84 UEFA Cup.
Watford had four different managers in 2014/15, but that didn’t stop them winning promotion to the Premier League. The Hornets started the season with Giuseppe Sannino but, by October, Watford had sacked Sannino and another 2 managers. The manager for the rest of the season was Slavisa Jokanović and in May he helped Watford to promotion. Jokanović wasn’t Watford’s manager in the Premier League however, he was replaced with ex-Real Madrid player and Atletico Madrid manager, Quique Flores at the end of the season.
Watford is about 30 kilometres north-west of London. If you decide to visit Vicarage Road (Watford’s stadium) to see a match getting to the ground is very easy. The quickest way is by train and the station you need is called Watford High Street. The stadium is just a 10-minute walk from the station. You can also get the underground to Watford from London but the overground train is much faster.
In 2015/16, Watford finished 13th in the Premier League and survived in the Premier League for the first ever time. Under Quique Flores, the Hornets had a great first half of the season but found the second half of the season more difficult. Watford’s top scorer was the Nigerian Odion Ighalo, who scored 15 goals. Flores was replaced as manager by Walter Materazzi during the close season. Watford have made lots of new signings and the most exciting is probably Roberto Pereyra from Juventus for £13 million.
Prediction 2016/17: 18th
Key player: Roberto Pereyra
Did you know....?
Watford weren't originally called Watford FC, they were originally called Watford Rovers!
Where is Watford?
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A Football Family
Watford is owned by the Italian businessman, Giampaolo Pozzo. Watford is not the only football club he owns; he has also bought Udinese, who play in Italy's top division, and Granada, who play in the top division in Spain.
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