Last Saturday was “the icing on the cake” for Watford striker Troy Deeney as the “Hornets” finally won the race for promotion to the Premier League. Rewind to 2012 and the outlook for Deeney’s football career was very much in doubt due to a brush with the law.
Spell behind Bars
On the 25th of June 2012, Deeney was sentenced to ten months imprisonment due to his part in a vicious attack on a group of students at a popular Birmingham nightclub. As a first time offender, the Watford player only served three months of his total prison sentence. His younger brother Ellis also involved in this incident, pleaded guilty to affray. Like fellow football professionals, Ian Wright and Tony Adams, Deeney pledged to turn his life around and focused on his football. On the 22nd of September 2012 nearly three months to the day, he made his debut return for the side against Bristol City at Vicarage Road.
This new lease of life proved extremely successful for the Birmingham born striker. He was fighting fit and alert in front of goal and finished the season off having scored a total of twenty league goals. The most important being obtained during the final push of the second leg semi final play off against Leicester City. Watford were striving to finish the season off as promotion candidates but unfortunately this did not prevail. A trip to Wembley in the play off final against Crystal Palace resulted in Zola’s team obtaining a 1-0 defeat for the disappointed “Hornets”. The deciding goal being a successfully taken penalty by Kevin Phillips during extra time.
Watford started off this season in mixed form with notable wins over Bolton Wanderers, Leeds United and Blackpool. Deeney was once again successfully proving his place on the pitch but it wasn’t until the appointment of the fourth manager of the season, Slavisa Jokanovic that the team really came together as a whole. The successful goal scored in April against Middlesbrough was his 20th strike of the season. This resulted in him becoming the first Watford player to score twenty league goals in three consecutive seasons. Watford’s dream finally became a reality after Fulham’s 4-3 defeat over Middlesbrough on Saturday. This being a huge achievement by the side returning back to the premier league after an eight year absence. Having one match now remaining, the question on everybody’s lips is can Deeney lead the “Hornets” to the Championship title?
PFA Championship team of the year 2015
On Sunday the 26th of April, Deeney was named in the PFA Championship team of the year for 2015. Although the Hertfordshire club claimed promotion, he was the only player to make the squad. After his successful spell in the second tier of English football can the striker now remain consistent and light up the Premier league next season, only time will tell.