From: Watford FC Academy (ish)
Career stats: Soccerbase
He is: A generous man
It was a cold, windy February day in Watford when I first heard the name of Hameur Bouazza, and his name sprung up again, and again, and again over the course of the day. It was a shock to my system as I'd never seen such a big impact at Watford in my brief time as a Hornets supporter.
His arrival on the Watford scene, for me, was an odd one. One usually expects to read about a young, up and coming player in the newspaper, or on Sky Sports. But in a sandwich bar next to the Palace Theatre, as a happy Greek man waved two free tickets for the Watford game in my face, courtesy of a certain H.Bouazza, was, frankly, a little odd. The cheeky man then went on to explain to me how he made Hameur a nice salami baguette, told him he was a Watford fan, and was given an envelope which gave the bloke the opportunity to save £20.
I ate my baguette, looking forward to the afternoon, to see whether this eighteen year old was any good. Once I got into the ground, I sat reading my programme whilst talking to my friend about this new French player. He then tells me that the man has scored buckets of goals for the reserves and has a reputation at the club for being a cheeky chappy, even though he can't speak a word of English. The game would then kick off, and I would await the outcome of the match.
And shock was an understatement. The lad scored a goal in the thirtieth minute and pulled off the only decent celebration that the Rookery saw that year, by taking his top off and waving it around. He then gained another six starts that season, playing brilliantly throughout.
Hameur is unique, and was ideal at the time due to an under-performing Danny Webber: we needed a player with pace, panache, flair and swagger. However, in some ways he's better than Webber, being incredibly strong and able to shoot with both feet well, not afraid to shoot in unlikely situations, plus he isn't foolhardy, his vision is excellent, and he passes when necessary.
The irony of it all is that just over a year ago David Hockaday picked up Hameur after a scouting mission in Paris: the young man then bursts into the first team, scores on his debut and receives Watford's "Young Player of the Year" after only six starts and one goal. I believe it's only a matter of time before this generous young man breaks into the French Under 21s...and maybe, just maybe a few caps for his national team.
Last updated: September 2004