Watford's Sean Murray and Sean Dyche on the midfielder winning the Young Player of the Month Award
10:09am Tuesday 17th April 2012 in Watford FC - News
Watford’s Sean Murray has been named the March Young Player of the Month for the npower Football League.
A product of the much-acclaimed Harefield Academy, Murray struck four goals in Watford’s seven fixtures in March to help his side to an unbeaten month.
The 18-year-old attack-minded midfielder made his full first team debut against Preston North End in May 2011 and has been capped at U17 and U19 levels for the Republic of Ireland. Murray is the third Watford player to pick up the accolade after Marvin Sordell and Will Buckley were named Young Player of the Month for September and December 2010 respectively.
In receiving the award, Sean said: “It’s a proud moment for me. I’ve played a few games recently and scored a few goals but there are a lot of other good, young players in The League. It’s hard to win this award with so many young players out there.
“This year I had to work hard to get into the team and it wasn't working at first, but I got my chance against Spurs and kept my place. The other players have helped me out a lot. Their experience keeps me level headed.
"We've pushed on at the back end of the season. Nobody thought we could do it. At the start of the season nobody expected us to be as high as we are. That just shows how good the team ethic is."
Hornets manager Sean Dyche added: “It’s a fantastic achievement for a young man enjoying his football. Sean is another player who has come through our system so it is good for us and for him. He's very young, he's only 18 and he's developing nicely.
“We're not overloading him with information at the moment and over time we'll add in some of the tactical and technical details. He's got a long way to go but it's a very nice start to what will hopefully be a very good career. “We want to develop talent. But there is a financial situation at the club that always needs addressing. But we feel we can keep players until the time is right and Sean's on a nice pathway.”
Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £40m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent. Around a third of this money (£12.6m) is provided by the Football Association and Premier League. There are 8,500 young players registered with League clubs making Football League Youth Development the largest centrally co-ordinated young player programme in world football.
Head of Youth Development at The Football League, David Wetherall said: “Sean made a huge impact in March, scoring vital goals for Watford helping him cement his place in the matchday squad. "At only 18, he is another fantastic example of the quality of player being developed at clubs within The Football League. I look forward to following his development and wish him the best of luck with the rest of his career".
Each month, the Young Player of the Month Award is awarded by The Football League to the young player who has made the most significant contribution and impact in first team football. To be eligible the player must be either under 21 years of age or be playing in the season during which he turns 21.
During the 2010/11 season, 249 players aged 21 or under made their professional debuts in The Football League.