Tommie Hoban is today playing in his first semi-competitive match in almost a year – in a game which also sees new signing Mathias Ranegie have a run-out.
Watford are currently taking on Reading in a Premier League Under-21 Cup tie at the Royals’ Hogwood Park training ground.
Hoban damaged his Achilles in January last year and although he returned for one game in February, he missed the rest of the season with the problem.
The Watford Academy graduate, who made 18 consecutive starts last season before injury, was forced to have surgery in the USA in late April.
Hoban and Ranegie, who signed for Watford from Udinese permanently earlier this month, are joined by another three professionals in today’s line-up. Gary Woods is in goal, with Luke O’Nien and Reece Brown completing the defensive trio. Ranegie is joined up front by Under-18s striker Alex Jakubiak.
First-year pro Bernard Mensah is on the bench as he is allowed to play in the Under-21s and Under-18s games as part of his loan agreement with Braintree Town.
Reading line-up: Moore, Long, Griffin, Kelly, Sweeney, Keown, Stacey, Kuhl, Ugwu, Tanner, Fosu-Henry.
Subs: Lincoln, Hyam, Fridjonsson, Shaughnessy, Murombedzi.
Watford line-up: Woods; Hoban, Brown, O'Nien; Barnum-Bobb, Hope, Byers, Dillon, Kyprianou; Jakubiak, Ranegie.
Subs: Johnson, Martin, Doherty, Rosenthal, Mensah.