Jonathan Bond admits sitting on the bench every week is frustrating but stressed he is “privileged” to be in the first-team squad at Watford and is excited by where the club are heading.
Bond has been in the Hornets match-day squad for every fixture this season but has only started once; in the Capital One Cup defeat to Bradford City back in August.
He accepts it will be difficult to dislodge veteran Manuel Almunia from the number one spot at present but believes working with the former Arsenal man is great for his development.
Bond said: “It is good but it is also frustrating. I am competing with a top goalkeeper who has been there, done it and played at the highest level, in Champions League finals and won FA Cups, so it is frustrating to be on the bench all the time but there are also positives because I am training with Manuel all the time and learning things constantly.
“It is not just things like technique, he is always passing on words of wisdom and I am learning loads from him.”
Bond, who was born in Hemel Hempstead and went to school in Berkhamsted, joined the Hornets as a ten-year-old and has been around the first-team squad for some time, earning his first professional contract in July 2010, shortly after his 17th birthday.
The 19-year-old, who was called up to the full Wales squad in October 2010 whilst still technically a second-year scholar, is out of contract next summer but insists he is not concerned.
He explained: “The problem with contracts is they can drag on for ages as they are difficult to sort out but – and I know it is a cliché – I am more worried about preparing for Saturdays and the games are just going by.
“I am not worried about it because I am learning every day and I am more involved with the first team this season. At the age of 19, that is very unusual in the Championship so I cannot complain and it is a great opportunity. I am privileged.
“I am still very young in terms of goalkeeping so I am not thinking about leaving,” he continued.
“The new regime excites me and I can see us pushing for the play-offs or challenging for the title, maybe not this season, but next season so there is no reason I’d be looking elsewhere.”