As far as good weeks go, Katy Watson has had a pretty good one I would say. A first goal of the season and the Women’s Championship “Performance of the Week” to go along with celebrating her seventeenth birthday is not too shabby at all.
Watson’s goal last week against Palace really was a lovely goal. Driving through with blistering pace to collect Nicki Gears’ precise through ball she still had a lot to do, but Watson showed skill and confidence that defied her age to calmly brush aside the keeper and slot home from an angle.
The photo of her and Abby Holmes celebrating into the camera is one of my favourite images so far this season.
Watson is a product of Sunderland’s fantastic Regional Talent Centre. I watched a couple of the RTC games last season and I remember highlighting three players who really stood out. One was Grace Ede who has gone on to play fairly regularly for Sunderland’s seniors, the other two were Watson and Poppy Pritchard who played up front together. Both are similar in that they have explosive pace and a real eye for goal.
Pritchard has gone on to play for Durham Cestria, their Tier 4 reserve team, and I saw them beat Newcastle recently in a game that had a total of four players who started at the Sunderland RTC on show. It was a massive achievement to see so many local girls living the dream, and Pritchard is bagging them in for the Durham development side.
Watson is also going from strength to strength. She scored a lovely goal in pre-season and Mel Reay trusted her to come off the bench early against Durham in the first game of the Championship season. Again on Sunday, Reay used Watson in a left-sided midfield position and Watson really got stuck in defensively before getting her goal.
The likes of Watson and Ede will have seen how flexible Neve Herron has been for Sunderland, playing a few positions for the club, and I’m sure they are on the right path to follow in her footsteps and become big players for us in the near future.
Let’s hope the goals keep coming for Katy during the season and she continues her hugely impressive start to her young career.