The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Paddy von Behr

AF­TER a decade-long as­so­ci­a­tion with Wat­ford – and at the ten­der age of 23 – Lau­ren Davey donned her gloves for the fi­nal time last sea­son and en­tered into re­tire­ment.

But you couldn’t drag her away from the club if you tried and, now un­der the guise of as­sis­tant man­ager, the for­mer Golden Girls skip­per is still in the thick of it.

It has not been a dream sea­son for Wat­ford, with just one win in 18 games and a los­ing streak that cur­rently stands at 11 in all com­pe­ti­tions.

That is es­pe­cially frus­trat­ing for Davey, who played for Eng­land’s Un­der-17s, Un­der-19s and Un­der-23s, along­side a hand­ful of cur­rent Lionesses, be­fore in­jury forced her off the pitch for good.

And while the urge to get her­self be­tween the sticks still burns bright, Davey ad­mits af­fect­ing change off the pitch is equally sat­is­fy­ing.

“It has been dif­fi­cult this year,” she said.“It is def­i­nitely frus­trat­ing – I used to be able to go out on the pitch and make a few saves – but we are re­ally start­ing to turn a cor­ner at the mo­ment.

“We are start­ing to gel to­gether and get a few in­jured play­ers back. Frus­tra­tion is start­ing to leave us, which is a good thing. It’s just a shame it didn’t come a lit­tle sooner.


“It is def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent from play­ing and I’m learn­ing ev­ery­day along­side some re­ally good coaches. “The first tar­get is just to get the first win un­der our belt. We have got winnable games left and we don’t want to fin­ish at the bot­tom of the league be­cause we don’t de­serve to be there.

“I am just tak­ing ev­ery day as it comes at the mo­ment – I’ve not got plans for the fu­ture as such. I re­ally en­joy teach­ing maths, which is what I’m do­ing, and I’m get­ting mar­ried next sum­mer, so we’ll see what hap­pens.”

Davey was pre­par­ing her troops to play Lon­don Bees in the FA WSL Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres Cup at the Hive on Wed­nes­day.

The game seem­ingly rep­re­sented a chance to end their bar­ren run of re­sults, but un­sea­sonal down­pours put paid to those plans.

“We were re­ally up for it,” said a frus­trated Davey. “We have been wait­ing a long time be­cause we haven’t played the Bees yet this sea­son, so we were ob­vi­ously dis­ap­pointed. I had lit­er­ally just turned up when it was called off – luck­ily it was the Bees and not Durham!

“It was one of the games we had tar­geted at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son. They are in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion to our­selves and we felt it was re­ally a game that we could have won.”

Af­ter miss­ing that op­por­tu­nity to grab a much­needed three points, next up are free-scor­ing Read­ing this af­ter­noon and Davey is tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from Roberto di Mat­teo’s class of 2012 as they go in search of an up­set.

She added: “Read­ing are ex­cel­lent in front of goal, but look at Chelsea in the Cham­pi­ons League. Lots of teams said they parked the bus, but they just did their roles well.

“I don’t mind giv­ing them more of the ball if we end up nick­ing a goal and win­ning it!”

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