Beppe Sannino applauds Watford legend Lloyd Doyley as defender climbs to seventh on club appearances list

Picture: Holly Cant

Picture: Holly Cant

First published in Sport
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Beppe Sannino says it is a dream to manage players who are "born wearing the shirt" after Watford defender Lloyd Doyley made his 428th senior appearance for the Hornets on Tuesday night, moving him up to joint seventh on the club’s all-time list.

Doyley, who joined Watford’s academy at the age of nine, came off the bench in the first half against Birmingham City to put him level on appearances with former Hornets midfielder Kenny Jackett.

Now 31, the fans’ favourite could still feature in Watford’s first team for a few years yet and climb above the likes of Arthur Woodward (432), Tommy Barnett (442) and Duncan Welbourne (457).

With football now extending its reach all round the globe and Watford increasingly entangled with its own European connections, Doyley’s achievement appears all the more remarkable.

"It’s fantastic," said Sannino, Doyley’s ninth boss at Vicarage Road.

"My dream is always to have the kind of players that are born wearing the shirt of the club.

"These days football is more business than soul and it is difficult to see this kind of soul in the football world now.

"My dream is to have the chance to manage players like Lloyd Doyley who is born with this club and is a part of this club."

It’s pertinent that Sannino, raised in Southern Italy and speaking with the help of a translator, has been so passionate about retaining Watford’s local identity and insistent on cherishing those players who come through the club’s youth system.

Nineteen-year-old academy product Luke O’Nien is one of those to receive regular adulation from the Hornets head coach while home-grown duo Sean Murray and Jonathan Bond have also been singled out for praise in the past.

"There are also players like Luke O’Nien who is a young player, he is the same as Lloyd in terms of belonging to the club and showing a desire to play for the club, and Sean Murray as well," Sannino continued.

"Lloyd is a great, great man and a great, great professional - he is a gentleman, he is a professional and he is always ready whenever I call upon him."

Doyley's crowning moment in a Watford shirt arguably came in 2009 when he scored his first of two goals for the club with a spectacular diving header against Queens Park Rangers.

He made his Hornets debut nine games into the 2001/2002 season when Gianluca Vialli had just been appointed manager and was flooding the squad with various tropical names from abroad.

Since then, Doyley has won promotion to the Premier League under Aidy Boothroyd in 2006, played in two Championship play-off finals and come off the bench in an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.

Sannino pointed to the success of United, who famously brought the likes of Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs through their youth team in the 1990s, as a shining example of why home-grown players remain as relevant as ever.

"The strength and the history of Manchester United can teach us," he said.

"They were able to grow and bring through players from their youth team and they were one of the most successful teams in the world."

He added: "It a coach’s dream to manage players like Lloyd who have come through the academy and spent their whole career at the same club."

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Comments (24)

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12:13pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Poppet Bear says...

Great Pro.
Great Pro. Poppet Bear
  • Score: 34

12:21pm Thu 13 Feb 14

only5foot3 says...

seen off all managers. be great to become record appearance holder.
seen off all managers. be great to become record appearance holder. only5foot3
  • Score: 43

12:44pm Thu 13 Feb 14

demerit says...

Really? It must be feeling a bit tight now then.
Really? It must be feeling a bit tight now then. demerit
  • Score: -32

12:56pm Thu 13 Feb 14

not a regular says...

THAT GOAL.
THAT GOAL. not a regular
  • Score: 21

1:00pm Thu 13 Feb 14

HornetJJ says...

Sir Lloyd!
Sir Lloyd! HornetJJ
  • Score: 26

1:14pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Letsalldothecongaforbrittassombalonga says...

My hero, an absolute legend and the day that he last pulls on the shirt will be extremely sad. I cannot imagine Watford without him. He is the heart and soul.
If half the players that have come through the club since his debut had a fraction of his passion, drive and commitment we would be playing in the champs league now!
My hero, an absolute legend and the day that he last pulls on the shirt will be extremely sad. I cannot imagine Watford without him. He is the heart and soul. If half the players that have come through the club since his debut had a fraction of his passion, drive and commitment we would be playing in the champs league now! Letsalldothecongaforbrittassombalonga
  • Score: 62

1:59pm Thu 13 Feb 14

BlakeyJ says...

Shoooooooooooot!
Shoooooooooooot! BlakeyJ
  • Score: 14

2:05pm Thu 13 Feb 14

mooneysmagic says...

Please get your finger out Mr Nani and give Lloyd a new contract before some other club snaps him up.
Please get your finger out Mr Nani and give Lloyd a new contract before some other club snaps him up. mooneysmagic
  • Score: 19

2:12pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Man from Pinner says...

Hope LD critics read this. Obviously our coach knows a lot more about football and footballers than they ever will.
Hope LD critics read this. Obviously our coach knows a lot more about football and footballers than they ever will. Man from Pinner
  • Score: 32

2:50pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Kismet110 says...

He is to Watford what the crows are to the Tower of London.

Great pro and good guy, I have been critical of him at times (STILL makes me nervous when he has the ball near our goal and opposition players are bearing down on him) but he is a very good defender.

I think he always seems to come back and play better though? Every time he's been out for a few games it's like he has been fully recharged!
He is to Watford what the crows are to the Tower of London. Great pro and good guy, I have been critical of him at times (STILL makes me nervous when he has the ball near our goal and opposition players are bearing down on him) but he is a very good defender. I think he always seems to come back and play better though? Every time he's been out for a few games it's like he has been fully recharged! Kismet110
  • Score: 15

3:25pm Thu 13 Feb 14

bigdave8 says...

improves every year!
improves every year! bigdave8
  • Score: 13

4:00pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Hornets number 12 fan says...

Don't matter who comes in he still gets the shirt! Great Ambassador for the Hornets! I salute you Lloydhino!
Don't matter who comes in he still gets the shirt! Great Ambassador for the Hornets! I salute you Lloydhino! Hornets number 12 fan
  • Score: 13

4:28pm Thu 13 Feb 14

andyhooked says...

Came on on Tuesday and still did his job well. Perhaps not a 40 game a season geezeer anymore but versatile, until it comes to scoring goals! Must be worth another year's contract as Hall will not be staying and we still have Hoban and Nosy. Sentiments must not get in the way but Lloyd still has so much to offer.
Came on on Tuesday and still did his job well. Perhaps not a 40 game a season geezeer anymore but versatile, until it comes to scoring goals! Must be worth another year's contract as Hall will not be staying and we still have Hoban and Nosy. Sentiments must not get in the way but Lloyd still has so much to offer. andyhooked
  • Score: 8

4:43pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Cuetip says...

only5foot3 wrote:
seen off all managers. be great to become record appearance holder.
Well done on your achievement.

It is hard to find loyalty in this greedy two faced world where people you trust can stab you in the backand.

Doyley has shed loads of respect for what he has achieved in staying with the club through the ups and downs.
[quote][p][bold]only5foot3[/bold] wrote: seen off all managers. be great to become record appearance holder.[/p][/quote]Well done on your achievement. It is hard to find loyalty in this greedy two faced world where people you trust can stab you in the backand. Doyley has shed loads of respect for what he has achieved in staying with the club through the ups and downs. Cuetip
  • Score: 19

4:54pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Wimborne Hornet says...

Kismet110 wrote:
He is to Watford what the crows are to the Tower of London.

Great pro and good guy, I have been critical of him at times (STILL makes me nervous when he has the ball near our goal and opposition players are bearing down on him) but he is a very good defender.

I think he always seems to come back and play better though? Every time he's been out for a few games it's like he has been fully recharged!
Ravens
[quote][p][bold]Kismet110[/bold] wrote: He is to Watford what the crows are to the Tower of London. Great pro and good guy, I have been critical of him at times (STILL makes me nervous when he has the ball near our goal and opposition players are bearing down on him) but he is a very good defender. I think he always seems to come back and play better though? Every time he's been out for a few games it's like he has been fully recharged![/p][/quote]Ravens Wimborne Hornet
  • Score: 5

5:19pm Thu 13 Feb 14

andyhooked says...

Ravens at the tower of London. But I know hat you mean. But the ravens have their wings clipped so they do not fly away. Lloyd should not fly away and be with us as long as he can still play at this (or even a higher level and he has done this)
Ravens at the tower of London. But I know hat you mean. But the ravens have their wings clipped so they do not fly away. Lloyd should not fly away and be with us as long as he can still play at this (or even a higher level and he has done this) andyhooked
  • Score: 3

6:11pm Thu 13 Feb 14

chadderton orn says...

Did not witness the QPR goal, But i was there at Bolton cross or shot it was one hell of a goal. Thank you Lloyd not many players stay to one club theses days. We salute you sir.
Did not witness the QPR goal, But i was there at Bolton cross or shot it was one hell of a goal. Thank you Lloyd not many players stay to one club theses days. We salute you sir. chadderton orn
  • Score: 5

6:53pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Stoney77 says...

Me Reliable. Had a great game on Tues night. Watford Legend, massive improvement under Zola.
Me Reliable. Had a great game on Tues night. Watford Legend, massive improvement under Zola. Stoney77
  • Score: 7

7:42pm Thu 13 Feb 14

hemelhorn87 says...

Vialli, Lewington, Boothroyd, Mackay, Rodgers, Mackay (again), Dyche, Zola, Sannino... surely this shows the critics that this guy is good! Thank you Sir Lloyd for your service! A lot of love for your defending and THAT GOAL will forever be one of my favourite Watford memories
Vialli, Lewington, Boothroyd, Mackay, Rodgers, Mackay (again), Dyche, Zola, Sannino... surely this shows the critics that this guy is good! Thank you Sir Lloyd for your service! A lot of love for your defending and THAT GOAL will forever be one of my favourite Watford memories hemelhorn87
  • Score: 12

8:16pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Stoney77 says...

Stoney77 wrote:
Me Reliable. Had a great game on Tues night. Watford Legend, massive improvement under Zola.
sorry that should say Mr Reliable, not Me Reliable!
[quote][p][bold]Stoney77[/bold] wrote: Me Reliable. Had a great game on Tues night. Watford Legend, massive improvement under Zola.[/p][/quote]sorry that should say Mr Reliable, not Me Reliable! Stoney77
  • Score: 2

9:02pm Thu 13 Feb 14

mellow yellow says...

Stoney77 wrote:
Me Reliable. Had a great game on Tues night. Watford Legend, massive improvement under Zola.
Also best outfield player for Watford in the play-off final. The guy is a decent, honest pro and one of the best man markers in the division. Distribution not that great, but he is a good player and,as has been pointed out countless times, just look how many managers have rated him at the club. That is very, very rare.
[quote][p][bold]Stoney77[/bold] wrote: Me Reliable. Had a great game on Tues night. Watford Legend, massive improvement under Zola.[/p][/quote]Also best outfield player for Watford in the play-off final. The guy is a decent, honest pro and one of the best man markers in the division. Distribution not that great, but he is a good player and,as has been pointed out countless times, just look how many managers have rated him at the club. That is very, very rare. mellow yellow
  • Score: 11

1:57am Fri 14 Feb 14

ralear49 says...

Man from Pinner wrote:
Hope LD critics read this. Obviously our coach knows a lot more about football and footballers than they ever will.
not sure about all the critics you might be referring to, but to be fair nothing in these comments say he is gifted, just that he is a loyal, devoted servant of the club. He is a hard-working, passionate professional who gives everything he has got, every match , but it's fair to say (as some have) that he has his limitations, Gotta love him though.
[quote][p][bold]Man from Pinner[/bold] wrote: Hope LD critics read this. Obviously our coach knows a lot more about football and footballers than they ever will.[/p][/quote]not sure about all the critics you might be referring to, but to be fair nothing in these comments say he is gifted, just that he is a loyal, devoted servant of the club. He is a hard-working, passionate professional who gives everything he has got, every match , but it's fair to say (as some have) that he has his limitations, Gotta love him though. ralear49
  • Score: 3

7:11am Fri 14 Feb 14

jimbowfc says...

"We've got Lloydinnio" and long may that be the case!!!
"We've got Lloydinnio" and long may that be the case!!! jimbowfc
  • Score: 4

9:02am Sat 15 Feb 14

Johan_Cruyff says...

Rodgers claimed LD was one of the best man markers in the business. I do some coaching and use the way LD shepherds players away from goal rather than making rash challenges as an example of the way players should defend. Top player and by all accounts a really nice guy.
Rodgers claimed LD was one of the best man markers in the business. I do some coaching and use the way LD shepherds players away from goal rather than making rash challenges as an example of the way players should defend. Top player and by all accounts a really nice guy. Johan_Cruyff
  • Score: 1

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