Ollie Watkins' Rise To The Top Continues As He Scores In Dream England Debut
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Ollie Watkins has followed in the footsteps of Jamie Vardy and Callum Wilson in going from Non-League football to scoring for England.
Initially rejected by Exeter City as a 9-year-old before he got a second chance, Watkins honed his craft during a loan spell at Weston-super-Mare in the sixth tier of English football - scoring 10 goals and helping out further by cleaning the changing rooms.
Watkins supplied a tidy finish into the bottom corner from inside the box after being fed by Phil Foden and was beaming with happiness as his teammates mobbed him.
Manager Gareth Southgate also looked delighted for the 25-year-old after giving him his chance on the international stage.
Six years ago, Watkins was scoring for Weston-super-Mare in the Conference South and here he was notching for his country with his first shot in international football.
In total, the man who grew up idolising Thierry Henry notched 26 goals for Exeter and would then go on to hit double figures in three consecutive seasons in the Championship with Brentford - including 25 in 46 appearances in his final season.
That prompted Dean Smith to sign him for a second time, this time for an eyebrow-raising fee of £33 million.
But Watkins, who bagged a stunning first-half hat-trick against Premier League champions Liverpool in a 7-2 trouncing in October, has proved he belongs at the highest level.
And with a dream debut strike tonight, he looks set to be in Southgate's plans going forward.