England in Safe Hands

Although he may not be a familiar name outside of such places as Barnsley, Oldham, Northampton and Birmingham, Dave Watson was last week invited by England manager Roy Hodgson to join the backroom staff for this summer’s 2012 European Championships.

Dave Watson, England CoachWatson will work alongside Liverpool and Tottenham legend Ray Clemence as goalkeeping coach after gaining a great amount of respect within the game amongst his peers.

But Watson’s career in football has not always been a happy one and the ex-Oakwell shot-stopper was forced to retire from playing at the age of 28.

Dave Watson was born in Barnsley on November 10 1973. He began his playing career at his home town club after coming through the Tykes youth system, making his debut in 1992.

Watson went on to make over 200 appearances for Barnsley, 178 of these in the league. He played in the Danny Wilson side that finished as runners-up in Division One in the 1996/97 season to win promotion to the Premier League and was the first team choice in goal during their one season stay in the top flight.

Barnsley Keeper Dave WatsonWatson suffered a knee injury during a second tier match against Norwich City in September 1998 and then spent more than two years vainly trying regain fitness before admitting defeat and retiring.

During his playing career Watson represented England in the 1993 FIFA World Youth Championship, where the Young Lions finished third. He also picked up five caps for the England U-21’s.

Following retirement, Watson worked as goalkeeping coach for Northampton Town, Oldham Athletic, Huddersfield Town and Nottingham Forest as well as working with the England U-19 squad.

In January 2008, Watson replaced Nigel Spink as goalkeeping coach at Birmingham City and quickly became recognised as an excellent prospect in this position.

During this time he helped fine tune the careers of England goalkeepers Joe Hart, Ben Foster and U-21 keeper Jack Butland who has been placed on the standby list for the upcoming Euro’s.

This reputation encouraged newly installed England manager Roy Hodgson to invite Watson to join his backroom staff and travel to this summer’s European tournament.

I’m sure all Birmingham City fans would like to wish Dave Watson all the very best in his role with the England squad. Good luck Dave.


 

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One Response to England in Safe Hands

  1. Paul Newman says:

    I know that Joe Hart raved about him and talked to Ben Foster about him when he was deciding on his future with the Blues, wish him all the best and just hope that he doesn’t get poached by a so called bigger club.

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