Main Menu
What's New
Player profiles:
Jay Demerit
Position: Central Defender
From: Northwood - free transfer - July 2004
Career stats: Soccerbase
He is: On tenterhooks, like all of us


Jay Demerit didn't do much wrong in his first season with the club. He was obviously a well brought up lad, the son of two Wisconsin teachers who had clearly drummed into him that if he got an opportunity to learn, he should damn well take it. So when Ray Lewington picked him up from Northwood, seeing in him something presumably as raw as Scott Fitzgerald's goal instinct, Jay was prepared to put in the work and listen to Sean Dyche, Neil Cox and the other wise old heads whose experience helped him slip into the first team remarkably smoothly only two months after joining us as a back-up centre-half.

Jay may have been raised thousands of miles from Watford, but the way he determined and forged a path for himself in football, without any of the assistance that the US soccer world (such as it is) could offer, certainly made him a good fit temperamentally with the Hornets. Throughout 2004/05, he showed he was fit, bright and, with the confidence that came of playing regularly in the first team, ever more ready to boss a defence of which he was one of the, ahem, greener contingent. He came across as likeable, he found the net from time to time, and if he made the odd critical mistake as the wheels came off the League season, then at least as often he was bailing out his more experienced teammates who'd done exactly the same.

So when Betty Boothroyd blew in, you wouldn't have put his name high up on the 'likely casualties' list. And indeed, as all the wood - valuable, dead, gnarled, or just a bit too...woody - was cleared through the summer, Jay's place seemed reassuringly integral to the New Bright Future Young Sexy Thingy Manifesto that was being as heavily trailed by the club as a Hollywood blockbuster, but just without the famous stars...or director. He was even chosen to model the new strip.

2005/06 didn't start so well, though, at least defensively: five goals conceded in the first game and a half. When did Betty get antsy? Maybe he told Jay the answer to this question, maybe Jay just woke up one late August morning to find a big old Scottish guy's name on the teamsheet where his used to be. We may never know. Whatever - Jay finds himself back in another thing Britain gave the world: the queue. How long will he stay there? His own answer, you feel, would be, 'As long as I need to'. After all, he's only twenty-five, he's making the bench, and in terms of flying hours he's still a talented beginner. But how long will Betty allow him to stay there? Well, on the basis that Malky Mackay has been signed to do a season-long job, we can best hope that Jay watches and learns a whole lot more, and contributes to the League Cup fixtures he'll be picked for, so that next season, whichever -ship we're in, he'll be out there doing everything he's done up to this point, plus a bit. Let's not root for any other options in the meantime, eh? But then again, two-year contract or not, it's a complacent executive who feels anything like job security in the New World (of Watford) Order. So when you're biting your nails at our progress, spare a fingertip for Jay Demerit, because - cool customer though he looks - he may have used up his own.

Martin Blanc
Last updated: September 2005