Josh Doherty accepts the strength of Watford’s squad means their young professionals will have to gain first-team experience on loan rather than at Vicarage Road.

The 18-year-old, who made his Golden Boys debut on the final day of the 2013/14 campaign, signed his first pro deal with Watford in May.

However, the Hornets do not have a reserve team which means the club’s young professionals are largely restricted to appearing in the Under-21 Premier League Cup and the Herts Senior Cup.

The other option is a loan move away. Uche Ikpeazu (Crewe Alexandra), Alex Jakubiak (Dagenham & Redbridge), Bernard Mensah (Barnet), Luke O’Nien (Wealdstone) and Jorell Johnson (Hemel Hempstead Town) are all continuing their development away from Vicarage Road.

Speaking after Watford’s Under-21 Premier League up win against Gillingham last week, Doherty said he hadn’t spoken to the Hornets about a loan move away but admits it is the logical option.

He said: “A loan move is definitely a possibility. I think that is the case for all of the young pros.

“I need game time and I want to play football.

“There is a big squad here at Watford with a lot of experienced players, so it won’t be easy to break into the side. I have to keep working and fighting for a chance.”

The Pozzos takeover at Watford and influx of players from Udinese and Granada has undoubtedly impacted the first-team opportunity for the club’s youngsters.

Under the likes of Malky Mackay and Sean Dyche several young players, such as Adam Thompson, Lee Hodson and Ross Jenkins were incorporated in the first team.

But with such a strong squad at his disposal, Slavisa Jokanovic does not need to turn to youth. It is something that Doherty understands.

He said: “You have to accept that. Players move on and others come in and it doesn’t matter where those players are from.

“If they have played at a high level then they are going to play in the first team. You just have to accept that.

“They (the senior players) are friendly and we look up to them, they are our role models at the end of the day. So if they can pass on any advice I am sure they would be willing to do so.”