We take up position at the same spot from which we watched much of the same pre-season exchange almost exactly a year ago. The guy on the tannoy seems to be relaying the team news over a mobile phone from the central reservation of the M25; at any rate, he is precious little help in identifying our heroes, although the names “Albert Jarrett”, “Joseph Desiré Job” and Ross Jenkins (yes, really) are just about clear above the crackle. Much of the half, therefore, is spent pondering the identities of the starting eleven, and trying to match ill-remembered images of our younger recent recruits to the individuals in front of us. Dom Blizzard is quickly identified; as last year at Redditch he comes into the first pre-season game looking an absolute monster, not the gangly individual remembered from competitive action.
This was the game in which Jay DeMerit, appearing for Northwood, so impressed Ray Lewington that he was taken on a two week trial which led to him being offered a season long contract at Vicarage Road. He never actually got to make a competitive appearance for Northwood.
Within two and a half years Jay had scored one of the goals in the Playoff Final at the Millennium Stadium which promoted Aidy Boothroyd’s side to the top flight, was playing regularly in the Premier League and captained Watford for the first time in December 2006 in the home game with Reading.
The first team was playing Inter Milan on this day. Maybe unsurprisingly therefore I can find no record of this game apart from the result being recorded on BSAD.
Watford Observer, 9th August 1996