Jonathan Bond discusses his education at Vicarage Road

Tuesday 03 Mar 2015
Watford shotstopper Jonathan Bond
England Under-21s international Jonathan Bond says he is enjoying every moment of his development at Watford.

The 21-year-old made his debut for the Hornets over three years ago, making over 30 appearances for the club since then as well as winning four caps for the Young Lions after switching his allegiance from Wales.

Despite having burning aspirations to eventually establish himself as number one for the Championship high-flyers, the big 6ft 4in shotstopper is just happy at the moment to continue learning from his Brazilian international team-mate Heurelho Gomes – the latest in a string of experienced tutors to Bond.

England v Germany

Under-21 international
7.45pm, Monday 30 March
Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Ticket hotline: 0844 499 1234
Buy online: Click here

“It seems ever since I turned professional at Watford I’ve always had great goalkeepers in front of me to learn from,” he told Watford’s official matchday programme ahead of their match with Fulham on Tuesday.

“At first Scott Loach was in the team and I was learning lots from him, but when the Pozzos took over the club and Manuel Almunia came in he was, to me, a real big name goalkeeper.

“This year, with Heurelho Gomes coming in, that learning curve has just continued and continued. He’s very strong in the air, so I’ve learned a lot about dealing with crosses and starting positions from him.“

He continued: “It’s been great having players like that to work alongside. They’ve both got a massive amount of experience, which counts for a lot.

“They’ve both played in the Premier League, Manu played in the Champions League final, and Heurelho played in the Champions League semi-final, so you can’t really argue with experience like that.”

It’s not only competition at club level that Bond faces – he is also battling it out with Jack Butland for the number one jersey at international level.

Although he faces a tough job to displace the England captain between the sticks for Gareth Southgate’s side, international duty is something Bond relishes.

"Southgate has created a great environment and all the players look forward to being part of it"

“Jack’s a great young goalkeeper. He’s got Championship and Premier League experience and he’s in a similar position to me at Stoke, being number two to Asmir Begovic at the moment. He’s a really nice guy, we get on really well and we’re good friends.”

He added: “I love going away with England, it’s a completely different experience to anything else I’ve been a part of.

“Gareth Southgate has created a great environment and all the players look forward to being part of it. We’ve got some big games coming and a big tournament in the summer, so I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure I’m selected.”

England U21s travel to play Czech Republic in three weeks before they go up against Germany at the Riverside Stadium on Monday 30 March.

If you want to show your support for the Young Lions then tickets for their clash in Middlesbrough can be purchased in person at the Boro ticket office or by calling 0844 499 1234. Tickets are also available online.

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer at Vicarage Road, Watford FC