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Player profiles:
Lloyd Doyley
Position: Right back
From: Watford FC Academy
Career stats: Soccerbase
He is: As honest as the day is long.
Past Profiles: June 2003, January 2002


My sister owns a green 'C' reg Nissan Cherry. It's not pretty but it still works well and, while it has the odd minor breakdown, it never lets her down when she needs it. And she gets wound up when anyone takes the Mickey…

To say Lloyd Doyley had the same place in my heart as the motor in my sister's would be an exaggeration. But I do get wound up when people criticise him as there are plenty of reasons to like him. The fact that he has come up through the ranks is one. Another is that he is far from the most elegant or skilful player ever to wear the yellow shirt.

OK, a bit of a backhanded compliment, but in every team someone has to do the dirty work. And if they look slightly ungainly in the process, so be it. Just think where we would be with eleven Craig Ramages on the pitch every week. That three consecutive managers have been impressed enough to entrust him with, as near as dammit, first-team regular status is reward for his dedication and effort. You never see Lloyd shirk a challenge or give less than a hundred percent. And his expression of sheer hurt when a decision goes against him would put most well paid actors to shame.

There are times when he will be given the run-around by tricky wingers or caught slightly out of position. His crossing is not much to write home about either. But his short-range passing, perhaps due to the new gaffer, is much improved and he has stopped suffering nosebleeds upon passing the halfway line.

In his debut season, 2001/02, he looked a real prospect with his pace, bravery and strength in the tackle. But his form slumped badly in the last months of Ray Lewington's tenure and he looked set to be James Chambers' understudy for the foreseeable future.

However, Lloyd really does appear to have benefited from the arrival of Adrian Boothroyd. He turned in some fine displays at the tail end of last season and has continued in the same vein this campaign. He looks full of confidence, particularly with the ball at his feet, and is first choice, for now.

Although the new manager's selections occasionally border on the bewildering, he does seem to be settling on a regular back four. This is, of course, vital as defensive understanding only comes with playing together. While Chambers and Jordan Stewart are currently fighting over left back, our Lloyd might just have made the other flank berth his own.

While he will never be a world-beater, Lloyd is unfailingly committed and I think he would admit that there are still aspects he needs to work on. If he continues to apply himself and work hard at his game, there is no reason why, in years hence, we won't be looking back on him in the same way as a certain right back of slightly earlier vintage.

Rory Jiwani
Last updated: September 2005