Date:Friday July 21 2006
Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd has appointed Richard Bate as the club`s new technical director.
Boothroyd was quick to pay tribute to the former Southend United manager and called the appointment a real coup for the club.
"I want Watford Football Club to have the best Academy in the world and I believe we have captured the best developer of talent in the world in the shape of Richard, Boothroyd told the club`s official site.
"This is a massive coup for me and Watford, and it's as important a signing we will make this summer. He is going to be a massive addition to any young player's development plan, and he adds to what is an already strong Academy department at Vicarage Road."
The 59-year-old joins Premiership Watford from the Canadian Soccer Association, where he spent a year as technical director; Bate also held the same position the Malaysian FA for three years.
Bate worked with the English Football Association from 1992 to 1995 as the national coach for age groups from Under-17 to Under-20. His impressive CV also boasts a UEFA Pro Licence and an FA Academy Directors licence.
"It's an over-arching job where I have to make sure the transition of players from the Academy to the first-team is handled sensitively and accurately," the former Hereford United coach told the club`s official site.
"It's a purely technical job and it's a job where I will get my tracksuit on and go out with the players every day. The Academy team have long-since been delivering good quality professionals but the bar has been raised now.
"We're looking for Premiership players and we need to be able to inject that calibre of individual into the first team."
Bate spoke of how players often fail to make the step up from Academy graduate to first-team regular - something that has indeed happened to numerous players at Vicarage Road over the years.
"At many clubs - in my opinion - there is a void once players graduate from the Academy to become professional footballers; they disappear down a hole. Sometimes they train with the first team, other times they train in small groups and they are almost lost souls."
"It's unifying and giving them a purpose, a direction towards the first team and making them see that we are all working for the same objectives together," Watford`s new technical director concluded.
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