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  Jamie Hand

 

Hi Jamie. You came through the ranks at Watford. Why Watford in the first place?

 

I canít remember really. I think playing through the schools, and I was spotted by a scout. I started going to training and eventually signed on schoolboy forms with Watford.

 

You stayed at the club for five years and played 55 games. Any of those games stick out for you?

 

My debut against Arsenal in the FA Cup stands out, that was a big day for me. Also Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge stands out. They are probably the two stand out games for me.

 

Who of your team mates did you get on best with in your time at Watford?

 

I canít really remember now, it was too long ago! Lee Cook I used to see quite a bit of. I roomed with Cooky, we were of a similar age and we had similar interests. Everyone in the squad was fairly close to each other though; it was quite a young squad so we stuck together most of the time. There were a couple of older players in the club, like Sean Dyche and Robbo but we all got on really well.

 

You played in the game against L***n at The Vic in the cup when there was fighting on the pitch amongst the fans. Does it affect your mindset going into the game? And were you aware of how bad it got?

 

I remember it delayed the kick off. To be honest, a lot of us were stood just by the tunnel watching it kicking off. A few of the lads were cracking jokes and trying to laugh it off, I remember somebody made a joke of comparing it to Galatasary v Fenerbahce!

 

Itís a bigger game than that!

 

It probably is! Like I said, we were soon back in the changing rooms and just wanting to get out on the pitch and play. It doesnít affect your mindset at all.  These things happen for whatever reason, and games get delayed. You just have to put it to the back of your mind and get on with it. You have to be professional and adapt to it.

 

There were rumours during your time at the club of a bust up between you and Martin Devaney, any truth in that?

 

That was all rumours. There was never any problem between Devaney and me. He was only at the club for about five minutes, but whilst he was there we got on fine. I did hear the rumours at the time but it was never the case.

 

Where do you think the rumour came from then?

 

I donít know. There are certainly much bigger rumours than that in football though! It was probably something that just started off as chinese whispers and it gets built up and built and into something that people think definitely happened. But there was never, ever any problem between me and Martin.

 

And then the time came that you left the club. Were you not offered a contract or was it your decision to leave?

 

I just felt that my first team opportunities were going to be limited, and they had been for a while. I could have stayed around and played in the reserves to see out my contract, but I was more happy to drop down a league or two and play in a first team, and know that I was going to be involved come Saturday.

 

There were, again, rumours that you took advantage of the transfer system to get out of the club via Fisher and go to Northampton

 

Well rules are there but they are there to be bent. The people behind the scenes did a really good job for me. I thought that because I had left Watford after the January transfer window I would not be able to play again that season. But because Fisher were outside the football league I could sign for them and immediately go on loan to Northampton.

 

So thereís no denial you used a loophole to get round the system.

 

There was a loophole I think. There must have been. All I know for sure was that my agent told me to go to Northampton and sign there. I didnít get too involved. That was my agentís job; my job was to play the games.

 

You then had a good couple of years at Chester and Lincoln.

 

I look back and Iíve got 150 Ė 200 league appearances under my belt and I enjoyed going to Lincoln and Chester. I made the decision quite boldly and Iím pleased with where I played.

 

Youíve left Ebbsfleet this season for Ďpersonal reasonsí. Are you prepared to elaborate on that?

 

 

I canít say too much on it because Iíve agreed with the club that it is not discussed in detail. Thereís no bad reason behind it though, itís just that there are other career paths that I want to follow. But thereís no family distress or issues.

 

We saw that your former chairman at Ebbsfleet wished you well with your career.

 

Well as I say there was no bad feeling. It is just that there are other career paths I want to follow and they donít involve football.

 

Itís strange for a professional footballer to leave the game of their own accord. Especially as from a fans perspective itís a great job to have.

 

I think Iíve made a decision that takes in to account that I need to work and I have many years ahead to work in my career, whereas football really would give me another five years or so. I think Iíve made the decision earlier than most people make it, but I spoke to my family and I think it is the right thing to do. And I think itís a decision that many players are quite scared to make.

 

So what career do you fancy now?

 

I donít know yet, weíll see what happens. Iím enjoying part time football now with Chelmsford City, and Iíve got a few ideas about going in to business with my dad. I am 25 now so I donít fancy going back to college and getting a trade under my belt, so like I said I will just wait and see. Nothing is finalised as of yet.

 

 

Great stuff. Good luck in whatever you do, and thanks for talking to us.

 

Cheers Lads.

 

 

 

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Jamie Hand

 

  

 

 

 

Quick Fire Round

F o o t b a l l

Favourite Ground (apart from The Vic)

Ibrox

Toughest Opponent

Frank Lampard

Best Ever Player

Messi

F a v o u r i t e s

Favourite Food

Seafood Linguine

Favourite Drink

A pint of Fosters

Favourite Music

Old School Garage

Favourite Holiday Destination

Bognor Regis

Favourite TV Show

Paris Hilton's British Best Friend

Favourite Film

Dumb and Dumber

Desert Island Woman 

I'm bottling it - it has to be my missus, she makes my tea!

 

 

 

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