Former Institute FC goalkeeper Nathan Gartside makes unofficial Watford debut after joining Hornets

Watford Observer: Nathan Gartside. Photo courtesy of the Derry Daily Nathan Gartside. Photo courtesy of the Derry Daily

Two goalkeepers had their first Watford run-outs on Saturday in the 1-0 friendly win against SK Austria Klagenfurt. Heurelho Gomes, a Brazilian international, needs little introduction but very few Hornets fans will know his 79th-minute replacement Nathan Gartside.

The 16-year-old, who is a Northern Ireland youth international, is believed to have signed a two-year scholarship with the Hornets after impressing on trial.

Gartside previously played for Northern Irish semi-professional side Institute FC who are based in the Drumahoe area of Derry.

Speaking about the move to Watford the young goalkeeper told the Derry Daily: “When I was offered the contract I was absolutely buzzing, it’s a dream to be offered a scholarship contract with an English club.

“Going to a club like Watford and having full-time quality training will also help my international career, but it also means a bigger step up for me, and it’s one I can’t wait for.”

He may have only been on the pitch for 11 minutes but it appears the youngster has impressed Troy Deeney, who was watching the game from the stands alongside Ikechi Anya, Bernard Mensah and George Byers. 

The striker tweeted: "Young pup Nathan has come on in goal I'm rating this lad only 16 but handles himself well." 

Deeney then followed that up with a picture of Gartside, which is below. 

 


 

Comments (5)

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4:00pm Mon 7 Jul 14

eastendhornet says...

Got to keep an eye on the future, though the main feeling I get from this article is if Deeney does move on to the Premier League we will need to replace him as a character off the pitch as well as his goals and work rate on it.
Got to keep an eye on the future, though the main feeling I get from this article is if Deeney does move on to the Premier League we will need to replace him as a character off the pitch as well as his goals and work rate on it. eastendhornet
  • Score: 1

4:30pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Mickey Quinn, not so thin says...

He looks about 11.
He looks about 11. Mickey Quinn, not so thin
  • Score: -7

4:54pm Mon 7 Jul 14

WFCBigStu says...

A bit of encouragement would go amiss everyone. Good luck Nathan. Train hard, work hard, lay off the booze when you turn 18 and believe...... and you'll fit right in. COYH
A bit of encouragement would go amiss everyone. Good luck Nathan. Train hard, work hard, lay off the booze when you turn 18 and believe...... and you'll fit right in. COYH WFCBigStu
  • Score: 14

5:11pm Mon 7 Jul 14

andyhooked says...

Pat Jennings joined WFC from N.I. What a keeper he turned out to be!!!
Pat Jennings joined WFC from N.I. What a keeper he turned out to be!!! andyhooked
  • Score: 16

11:20am Tue 8 Jul 14

ORBY says...

Welcome Nathan to a great club, I wish you all the very best on the start of your journey to the Premier League with Watford.
Welcome Nathan to a great club, I wish you all the very best on the start of your journey to the Premier League with Watford. ORBY
  • Score: 2
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