COACH IS LEARNING HER TRADE
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!”