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Gone but not forgotten:
Colin Pluck
Position: Central defender
From: Youth team
Record: Played: 2 Scored: 0
To: Greenock Morton - free transfer - February 2000
Career stats: Soccerbase
He was: "An outstanding prospect"

The problem for youth and reserve team members in the last two or three years is that they've been asked to hit a moving target.

When Colin Pluck broke into the first team and made his only two appearances, he was trying to fit into a Second Division side, albeit an upwardly mobile one. Indeed, one of his outings was in the Auto Windscreen Shield, on that spectacularly dismal evening at Craven Cottage. By the time he was released to look for pastures new, however, he was competing for a place at a Premiership club, and that's an altogether different challenge.

Some have made it, some have not, some still hang in the balance. Pluck, always referred to as "an outstanding prospect" during his time as youth team captain, was one of those who didn't make it. There was no sign of him during the 1998/99 season, and it seemed increasingly obvious that he'd be well-advised to look for regular first team action elsewhere. Then the game was finally up when a suspension-ravaged squad travelled to Coventry - Darren Ward and James Panayi made their Premiership debuts, Pluck was nowhere to be seen.

Who knows, his chance may have come if he'd stayed at Watford for long enough. But his chance will come sooner at Morton.