QPR Report Twitter Feed

Monday, December 31, 2007

Warm Watford Farewell to Gavin Mahon

Watford Official Site - MAHON'S LAST GOODBYE
FOLLOWING today's confirmation that Gavin Mahon will join Championship rivals Queens Park Rangers on loan, with a view to a permanent move, the midfielder has spoken to www.watfordfc.com about his time at Vicarage Road.
Mahon signed for the Golden Boys in March 2002 when Gianluca Vialli parted with £150,000 to sign him from Brentford. The tough tackling midfield man has since made over 200 appearances for the club.
Mahon has seen plenty of change during his time in Hertfordshire but first he looks back to when he initially signed for the Hornets.
In an emotional goodbye to the club he said: "I had been speaking to Ray Lewington and he said Watford needed a midfield player so Gianluca brought me in. I had been doing well at Brentford and Steve Coppell was good enough to let me go. It was great to have a high profile manager like Vialli come in for me and it was a dream move really."
Mahon made his debut against Crystal Palace but soon picked up a serious knee injury which saw him sidelined for a matter of months - after his return it was a while until he felt he gave a good account of himself for the Golden Boys.
"When I came back into the side I was playing out of position quite often, filling in at full back, and I don't think the supporters saw the real Gavin Mahon. I was getting a bit of stick but I managed to turn it around and show people what I could do."
Mahon was part of the Hornets side which reached the FA Cup semi final against Southampton at Villa Park and then he was rewarded for his hard work with the 'Player of the Season' award in 2003/04.
But there have been tough times too and he faced a difficult situation early on in his days at the club. With the club in dire straits financially the players were asked to take a wage deferral.
Mahon remembers: "I hadn't been at the club long and the Chairman called us all in to the gym for a meeting. At the time I just wanted the club to be safe, so we all decided to get through it and that saving the club was the priority. Then we went on from there and got to a couple of semi finals which made the club some money."
Things have changed drastically at Vicarage Road in the years since and for the ex-captain, who has enjoyed a promotion with the Golden Boys, expectations have risen dramatically.
"Things have changed considerably; the expectation now is so, so high. Financially the club is much better of. After those seasons of struggle it shows how far the club has come to surprise everyone and get promoted, play in the Premier League and reach another semi final last season.
"During those hard times, there were players coming and going all the time but thankfully I managed to stay."
Mahon has certainly turned out alongside a great deal of players and characters, so who would he pick out?
"It was clear from early on that Ashley Young had lots of ability, he didn't have any fear and you could tell he had a bit of class. Ashley's got two great feet and it's not surprising he's done so well. Jermaine Pennant was the same when he was on loan, you could tell straight away that he was a very good player.
"As for characters and people in the dressing room I would have to say Jordan Stewart. I had heard about Jordan before he came to Watford and I wasn't sure if I would get on with him but he is so bubbly, and you need characters like that in the dressing room. He always has a smile on his face and he is great to have around the place."
Boss Aidy Boothroyd has also had a huge impact on the Birmingham-born midfielder, but Mahon did initially fear he had failed to make the grade with the Yorkshireman.
"In one of Aidy's early games I got injured up at Stoke towards the end of the season. I was a bit worried that he would want to bring his own people in. But that summer we had a chat and he said he wanted me to stay and that I was his type of player.
"When we got back for pre-season we had a meeting and Aidy believed we would get promoted. Speaking to the other guys since then not everyone believed him at first, but slowly but surely during the season the belief started to come and then of course we eventually won promotion at Cardiff.
"I remember dreaming the night before about lifting the trophy and being up on the podium. We wouldn't have done it without Aidy so we lifted it together and it was a great day for everyone and the club."
Since then there has been further drama with a season in the Premier League and another FA Cup semi final appearance at Villa Park providing yet more memories for Mahon.
"The game with Manchester United was a great occasion again with the crowd, the flags and the scarfs, we started well but unfortunately got punished by an excellent team."
This season the Hornets came flying out of the blocks and were soon at the top of the pile, but now with the new year looming the promotion race is at tight as ever - and there will need to be another gigantic push from the Golden Boys.
With Mahon out of contract at the end of the season, Boothroyd had to make one of his toughest decisions to date and call time on his captain's tenure at the club.
Mahon added: "I had a chat with Aidy and he said he wouldn't be renewing my contract. I'm an experienced player and I've been involved in the game a long time so I have to move on. But I've kept on training and travelling with the lads and I've now got a fresh challenge.
"Watford have certainly got enough quality to get promoted. They need to get back to playing the Watford way at a high-tempo and express themselves on the field. We showed at Coventry and Norwich away that we can play football and I'm sure they'll go on to have a successful season.
"I went to the QPR game on Saturday and said my thanks and goodbyes to everyone - there are good players and people at the club.
"It was strange and even more so as Watford were playing my new team. Some of the lads I've played with for a long time now and the newer lads like Jobi [McAnuff] said they wanted to stay in contact with me, so I'm sure I'll be seeing them at some point."
With 2008 looming, it means new starts for Watford Football Club and Gavin Mahon. The club would like to thank Gavin for all his hard work during his time with the Hornets and wish him and his family all the best for the future. So it's goodbye to a great and loyal servant; one that true Watford people will never forget. Watford

Blog Archive