He’s one of our own! Ollie Watkins has been rewarded for his brilliant Premier League debut with an England call up.
The 25-year-old, who came through the Exeter City Academy, has been named in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for the World Cup qualifying games against San Marino, Albania and Poland this month.
Ollie joined Exeter City Academy at under-11 level, he went on to play for the first team squad, scoring 21 goals before being sold to Brentford in 2017. He subsequently moved to Aston Villa and made his Premier League debut last year.
Nick Hawker, chair of the Supporters’ Trust, said: "It’s hard not to be wearing a big smile this afternoon. This season has been particularly hard for everybody and then, suddenly, something wonderful happens! Congratulations to Ollie and of course, the club and Academy.”
Julian Tagg, president and director of football at Exeter City, said: "This is fantastic news and as a club we are absolutely delighted. So many people have been involved in Ollie’s success, from when he first joined our academy, and I know they will be thrilled for him. Of course, he has developed even further through his time with Brentford and Aston Villa.
“The Academy has always been a focus of the club throughout our Supporters’ Trust ownership and we are all very proud of what Ollie has achieved. We should especially mention Arran Pugh who leads the Academy so well, alongside Kevin Nicholson and the staff that support them.
“But surely the proudest of all will be our fans, all those who sing ‘he’s one of our own’. I know they’ll be watching the England games with even more interest later this month.”
Manager Matt Taylor, said it was a well-deserved call up for Ollie. He added: “Hopefully this is the start of an England career and a career in the Premier League; he has got the attributes to do that and the mentality.
"He deserves it, he’s scored a lot of goals this season, a lot last season and a lot with ourselves, but no one is more delighted than everyone associated with Exeter City Football Club. Ollie had a fantastic attitude in terms of what I saw in his time at Exeter City, he worked hard and he’s getting the rewards he deserves."