Kane Crichlow is determined to take a step closer to realising his dream of playing in the Premier League after making an impressive start to the Professional Development League campaign with Watford’s Under-23s.
The 18-year-old Bermuda international has enjoyed an encouraging beginning to his career at Vicarage Road, since signing from Sky Bet League One outfit AFC Wimbledon in the summer, impressing coaches so much in his opening fortnight at the club, that manager Javi Garcia took Crichlow on the first team’s pre-season tour of Austria.
Despite not featuring against either Champions League semi-finalists Ajax, or German top flight side Bayern Leverkusen during the tour, Crichlow relished the opportunity to train alongside senior professionals and internationals, soaking up and learning from the experience.
“Being with the senior squad during pre-season was a big help because their level is really high, obviously, because they’re Premier League players, some of them internationals, and it really helped me to prepare for the Under-23 season,” Crichlow told Watford’s official website.
“Troy Deeney (club captain) was giving a lot of advice to me and my other under-23 teammate Harry Foster.
“I’d say him, Andre Gray, Andre Mariappa and Nathan Chalobah really took me under their wing.
“I was talking to them the most and getting a lot of advice from them all.
“They were just saying to me to work hard and keep my head down, don’t let all the scenery get to me, stuff like that, and if I continue to work hard then I can catch the manager’s eye and hopefully get on the bench sometime this season.
“It’s been a great feeling because seeing these guys on TV it’s like, wow, I really want to be in that type of position being able to travel with them and playing with them week in, week out. It’s a real motivator for me.”
Crichlow put the experience into practice immediately in his first competitive match since returning from Austria, scoring twice and assisting another against Hull City on Monday, as Watford’s Under-23s ran out emphatic 5-0 winners in their biggest victory in the Professional Development League for almost two years.
Having enjoyed a taste of everyday life among the first team and starting the campaign on a positive note, the former BAA player, who has captained his country at under-17 and under-15 level, is determined to stay in the thoughts of manager Garcia, setting himself the target of breaking into Watford’s Premier League squad during the season.
“It’s been a good feeling to finally get started,” he added. “I’ve been dying to get started in the league and it feels great.
“It is obviously the same sort of level [being with the first team] but it’s a little lower so that made it easier to get in with them and be ready to start the Under-23 season.
“I’ve set a few goals this season. Obviously to score lots of goals and get lots of assists with the under-23s but in regards to the first team, hopefully I can get called up to be in the squad once or twice before December, or any time throughout the season really. Those are my goals for my first year.”