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Player profiles:
Richard Lee
Position: Goalkeeper
From: Watford FC Academy
Career stats: Soccerbase
He is: Watford's number one in waiting
Past profiles: February 2003


Cast your minds back to the end of the 2002/03 season and recall, if you will, the impressive first four games of Richard Lee's professional career. Three clean sheets, only a penalty conceded against Preston, and a single-handed thwarting of Fabrizio Ravanelli in an enjoyable, youth-inspired win over Derby all added up to a pretty decent beginning. Having been impressed by this start, the Watford faithful speculated as to whether the youngster was finally about to shove Alec Chamberlain out of the first team.

Since then, bad timing has contrived to rob the youngster of his chances to make the final push to become Watford's number one. During the last pre-season, a sickening collision at QPR may well have cost him the chance to begin the campaign. A few weeks later and a broken arm in a reserve team fixture, just as Chamberlain's lack of form was causing concern, meant that Watford had to go and take Lenny Pidgeley on loan from Chelsea. The rest, as they say, is Richard Lee's bad luck, and he spent the second half of the campaign regaining his confidence in the reserves, as any keeper who breaks an arm must surely have to do.

So, one year on, with Alec ending last season in the team and signing a new deal, and Pidgeley back at Chelsea, it's as you were last summer for Richard Lee. The young keeper who impressed so much in those initial few outings is quietly biding his time and, one hopes, is ready for another tilt at the first team. The veteran custodian not withstanding, it can only be a matter of time....

Dave Messenger
Last updated: June 2004