Watford's Will Buckley has been named December's Young Player of the Month for the npower Football League in The Times newspaper's football supplement, 'The Game'.

The 21-year-old midfielder has spearheaded a faultless month for the Hornets who secured convincing wins against table-toppers Queens Park Rangers and third-place Cardiff City, propelling the club back into the top six of the npower Championship.

Since joining from Rochdale in January 2010, Buckley has made 29 appearances for Watford and netted four times, including against Leicester City last month to help launch the Hertfordshire club's unbeaten December run.

In receiving the award, Will Buckley said: "In the past few weeks I feel like I've been getting back to my best.

"I've probably not really shown what I can do since I've been here but in the past few weeks I've been playing well and been really happy with my performance. I'm feeling really confident.

"I've been told what I need to do, and I'm doing it. "

Each season, Football League clubs invest more than £40m on identifying, training and educating the next generation of football talent. Around a third of this money (£12.6m) is provided by the Football Association and Premier League. There are 8,700 young players registered with League clubs making Football League Youth Development the largest centrally co-ordinated young player programme in world football.

The Football League's Chief Operating Officer Andy Williamson said: "Will was highly impressive at the end of last year and proved his value to the Watford side with a number of crucial performances.

"He is another example of the quality of players coming through Football League clubs' Youth Development systems and I'm sure he will continue improving in 2011."

After leaving Oldham Athletic's Youth Development programme, Buckley joined Rochdale and went on to play 69 games, scoring 13 times in three seasons at the Spotland Stadium.

Rochdale Manager Keith Hill, added: "Will is an exceptional talent and I'm sure there is more to come from him.

"It's great to see he is getting his opportunity at Watford and obviously Malky Mackay has been instrumental in getting Will into the type of form he is in at the moment and for his continuing development."

Each month, the Young Player of the Month Award is awarded by The Football League to the young player who has made the most significant contribution and impact in first team football. To be eligible the player must be either under 21 years of age or be playing in the season during which he turns 21.

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