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Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd has promised his full support to Alec Chamberlain's testimonial year - describing the veteran goalkeeper as a "fantastic guy" and an "excellent role model".
Boothroyd, who took over from Ray Lewington earlier this year, said Chamberlain had made a huge impression him since his arrival at Vicarage Road, and said he is still more than capable of competing for a regular first team place.
"Alec came in for Richard Lee at towards the end of the season just finished and he was terrific, he was excellent," said Boothroyd. "He came in at a time when we really needed results, and in four games kept three clean sheets and played superbly in every one of them.
"I was highly impressed, not just with his performances, but with the commanding presence he brings to the team when he plays, and he'll be very much in contention next season.
"I know he's touching 41, but he is still a very good goalkeeper, he is still very fit, and you know the saying about if you're good enough, you're old enough; well the same applies too the other way round: if you're good enough you're young enough. It's a credit to Alec that he's managed to go on for so long, and is still at the top of his game.
"Age doesn't come into it - I select on merit, and on the evidence of what i say in those four games, then Alec is very much in contention to play - he played a key part in us staying up."
Boothroyd said Alec had been a big help to him since his arrival as manager, and he has quickly grown respect for a player six years older than the manager.
"I didn't know him personally before I came to Watford, though i was obviously aware of him as a professional," he said. "He has been very helpful, he works with the 'keepers at the club, and he keeps himself very fit - but that is why he can still earn a first team place on merit.
"All in all, I genuinely like him as a person, he's a fantastic guy - honest, trustworthy, and an excellent role model for young professionals making their way in the game.
"He’s a winner, and a great person to have on the staff and in the squad, and i hope he has as big part to play in Watford's future, as he's played in the club's recent past."
Written by Peter Jones, of the PR consultancy Red Alert Media.