Ollie Watkins gives heartfelt interview after scoring debut England goal vs San Marino

  • Kobe Tong

Ollie Watkins is living the dream after scoring on his England debut.

With injuries ravaging the Three Lions squad ahead of their first 2022 World Cup qualifiers, there was an opportunity for Gareth Southgate to introduce some fresh faces to the international stage.

And with Danny Ings and Callum Wilson out injured, while Tammy Abraham has been exiled from the Chelsea squad, there was an opening in the Three Lions' cohort of centre forwards.

England vs San Marino

Leeds United's Patrick Bamford looked to have a good chance of receiving his first England call-up but in the end, Watkins was the poacher who got the nod for March's round of fixtures.

And to say that Watkins made the most of his opportunity would be a massive understatement with Southgate giving him the chance to spread his England wings against San Marino.

The Three Lions were already 4-0 up against the European minnows, courtesy of goals from James Ward-Prowse, Raheem Sterling and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (x2), by the time Watkins came on.


Watkins scores on England debut

And although making his England debut must have been a special moment on its own, the Aston Villa striker made sure to fill his boots by finding the net on his debut.

Watkins received the ball in the penalty from Phil Foden's incisive pass, before finding space to unleash a shot and finding the bottom corner past Elia Benedettini with supreme confidence.

You could tell just what it meant to Watkins from the moment the television cameras cut to his celebration, beaming with joy as half the England side passed on their congratulations.


Watkins' emotional interview

But if there was any doubting the significance of scoring for England to Watkins, then you needn't look any further than his post-match interview because the pure emotion was clear to see.

And when you consider the remarkable footballing journey that Watkins has been on to reach this point, which we'll touch on shortly, then it makes the interview all the more special - check it out:

Watkins' inspirational journey

Yes, that's right, it's crazy to think that Watkins is soaking in his first England goal barely four years after he was plying his trade in League Two.

Then again, even before Watkins made his name at Exeter City in the Football League, he was having to prove himself further down the English football pyramid with Weston-super-Mare.

In the 2014/15 season where Harry Kane made his breakthrough in the Premier League, Watkins was beginning his ascent to international football down in the battlegrounds of Non-League.


Eventually, Watkins became a regular in the Exter fold, notching 16 goals during his final season, before earning a move to Brentford that would see him score 45 times in the Championship.

That was enough to prompt Villa to spend a then-controversial £33 million on his services, but things couldn't have worked out better with Watkins bagging 10 goals at a Premier League level.

And now that an England goal on his debut can go alongside a Liverpool hat-trick and strike at Arsenal, I think it's fair to say that Watkins has proven that anything is possible in English football.

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