‘It’s what I dreamt about all day’: Ollie Watkins admits disbelief after scoring on England debut

Aston Villa striker came off the bench to find the net in the Three Lions’ 5-0 win over San Marino

Alex Pattle
Thursday 25 March 2021 22:48
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Second-half substitute Ollie Watkins (centre) netted late on
Second-half substitute Ollie Watkins (centre) netted late on

Ollie Watkins could not contain his excitement after scoring on his England debut on Thursday night, his late goal completing a 5-0 victory over San Marino at Wembley Stadium.

The Aston Villa striker came off the bench in the second half to step out for Gareth Southgate’s side for the first time, and his accurate finish followed goals by Raheem Sterling, James Ward-Prowse and Dominic Calvert-Lewin – who netted twice.

The result ensured a successful start to England’s qualifying campaign for next year’s World Cup in Qatar, with further qualifiers against Albania and Poland coming later this month.

“It’s unbelievable, it’s what I dreamt about all day in the hotel – just to get a chance and enjoy it,” Watkins said at full-time.

“I’m speechless to be honest. It’s been a good journey, I feel honoured to come out here and put on the shirt and play with the players I’m playing with.

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“You couldn’t write it, I’m over the moon to be honest.”

Watkins has scored 10 goals for 10th-placed Villa in the Premier League this season, having joined from Championship side Brentford last summer.

England captain Harry Kane remained on the bench against San Marino, with Everton’s Calvert-Lewin scoring twice in the Tottenham striker’s absence.

Watkins knows he is not at the top of the pecking order among Southgate’s strikers ahead of this summer’s Euros, and the 25-year-old insisted that he will stay realistic about his chances of being named in the coach’s squad come June.

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“I didn’t put pressure on myself, I just wanted to get on the pitch for a start,” Watkins said.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity. I have just got to take each game as it comes, play consistently for Aston Villa, push up the table and hopefully get into [a European place] and see where we’re at.”

England face Albania on Sunday and Poland next Wednesday.

Albania were 1-0 winners against Andorra on Thursday, while Poland drew 3-3 against 10-man Hungary elsewhere in the World Cup qualifying group.

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