Date: 13th April 2012 at 6:22pm
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Watford have this afternoon handed professional contracts to three of their second-year scholars whilst announcing that four will leave the club.

Midfielder Stephen Hamilton-Forbes, defender Aaron Tumwa and midfielder-cum-striker Connor Smith will all sign professional contracts at Vicarage Road.

All three have been out on youth loans this season with local non-league clubs.

Hamilton-Forbes and Tumwa both spent part of the season on-loan with Harrow Borough whilst Smith has spent much of the campaign with Wealdstone, impressing hugely.

It’s less positive news for Brandon Horner, Michael Kalu, Dereece Gardner and Chimdi Akubuine though, the quartet will be let go at the end of their scholarships.

Injured defender Matt Bevans, who has been sidelined for most of the season with knee ligament damage, will be handed a few extra months to prove himself before a decision is made.

Sean Murray, Tommie Hoban and Jack Bonham have all already penned professional contracts with the Hornets over the course of the season.

Speaking to the Official Site, Academy boss Nick Cox spoke of the decision not to offer contracts to four players:

‘It’s now about finishing the season strongly and – if they want it – using our help and expertise to find a football future away from Watford.’

Cox continued:

‘Although it can’t be good news for all the players, the way they conducted themselves in front of a panel which included the first-team manager was a credit to each individual.

‘Our boys are not only good football players, they are decent lads as well. So it was no surprise to me – although I was proud to witness it – when all of them, to a man, looked the group of staff in the eye and said thanks for their time here.’

Congratulations Connor, Stephen and Aaron and good luck in the future to those leaving the club.