Former Charlton goalkeeper Mike Ammann has described why Watford is the perfect club for his son Arie, who has just signed on as an Apprentice with the Hornets.
In doing so the 16-year-old, who is following in his father’s footsteps as a stopper rather than scorer of goals, has left his family in the USA to try fulfil his dream of becoming a professional player.
“Watford is the best option for Arie at this time,” said Ammann.
“DC United offered him an excellent opportunity and is the highest level of competition in the US but I feel joining Watford at this time is the best situation.
“Every player is different but for a goalkeeper, you need to have an excellent coach, daily training at a high level and the commitment from the club to help you succeed.
“Watford has everything he needs and I am happy he has been given this opportunity. It will be a wonderful two years regardless of how it turns out and I think a great life experience for Arie.”
“Arie is highly motivated to play at the highest level and has committed himself to achieving that. Time will tell if that occurs or not but I think he is on the right path joining Watford FC.”
During a trial with the club in March, Arie trained with first-team goalkeepers Manuel Almunia and Jonathan Bond under the guidance of Alec Chamberlain and he feels that there experience can help his soon hone his skills.
“He (Arie) said there was nothing better than training with Manuel and Bondy. Both offered pointers along the way and were willing to help him out which he respected.”
“Any time you have a chance to be coached by someone with Alec’s experience you jump at it.
“Alec has forgotten more about the game and the position than most will ever know.
“As I look at situations and environments for my son or any goalkeeper to be in, this is by far the best of everything. Arie is going to a club that is very ambitious and is taking the proper steps to achieve that.
“He has a chance to train with an excellent goalkeeper coach, play for a very good manager in (youth team coach) David Hughes that enjoys playing the game the right way and overall be given a chance to prove himself. All you can ask for is to be given a chance.”
Ammann senior, who had also seen his son spend time training at Norwich City, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham and Derby County before committing to the Hornets, is also convinced that the club will help Arie develop off the pitch as well as on it.
“All of these times at other clubs have been great for his growth and development. They all offered a great challenge for him and he enjoyed different parts of each club. At the end of the day, I feel Watford is the best option for him all around,” continued the 42-year-old.
“He will be attending the Harefield Academy that was very important to me.
“After speaking to David Hughes and hearing directly from him about the importance he and the club place on education, I was convinced Arie would be well looked after.
“We all want him to reach his goal of being a pro but at the same time understand that there are many factors in making that a reality. My wife and I would not have allowed Arie to move to England without the education side being addressed.
“I have had multiple conversations with the education officer Will Davies and the programme they have in place sounds like they address everything we were looking for.
“In the end we hope he ends up signing professional terms with Watford FC but worst case is he walks away with his A-Levels and an education.”