Date: 2nd May 2006 at 2:20pm
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Adrian Mariappa celebrated his full Watford debut with a clean sheet against Hull City on Sunday.

The 19-year-old excelled alongside Jay DeMerit and undertook the sizeable task of marking City?s 6’4′ forward Jon Parkin.

?I’ve played against big guys before,? Mariappa told the official site. ?But he’s one of the biggest and really strong as well. It was a challenge and I thought I did okay against him. I could have done better but it’s all about learning, and the next time I play against him I hope I do better. I thought we defended well. We’ve come away with a clean sheet and I thought we deserved a win.’

The centre-half also spoke of his joy of being selected in the starting line-up: ?I kind of thought in the back of my mind that I would be involved, with it being the last game of the season. And with Clarke being injured at QPR I thought there was an even better chance, so I just kept working hard to try and get in there,? said Mariappa.

?I know what’s expected of people in my position and everyone just took me aside and gave me little words of advice here and there, not just the gaffer, but other staff and a lot of the players,? added Adrian.

The Harrow-born Academy Scholar also praise Watford boss Adrian Boothroyd and his commitment to youth: ?It’s great, he’s (Aidy) got great faith in all of the young players and it’s encouraging for all of those players that if you play well and keep at it, he’ll use you if you’re good enough,? enthused the defender.