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South Devon Primary School is celebrating its link with Euro 2024

South Devon Primary School is celebrating its link with Euro 2024

South Devon Primary School is celebrating its link with Euro 2024

Ollie Watkins began his football journey at Decoy Primary

Ollie Watkins’ success as a footballer is a source of huge pride for many people in South Devon and it all started at a fabulous co-ed primary school in Newton Abbot.

Before moving on to South Dartmoor College in Ashburton and an Academy scholarship to Exeter City, Watkins, who is part of the England squad competing in Germany and also a striker for Aston Villa, was kicking footballs around on playing fields from Decoy Primary.

When Watkins was just seven, he joined a friend at a Newton Town FC training session and immediately impressed. “The team was local to where I grew up in Newton Abbot in Devon and then I was scouted by Exeter City maybe just a year later, so it all started quite quickly,” he said.

Watkins initially did not go through the trials at Exeter, but the Greeks asked him to return at a later date. That later date turned out to be three years in the future when he was accepted as an Academy player, although he continued to play local football.

“I remember when I left Decoy Primary School to join South Dartmoor, I didn’t know anything about the school but I only chose it because it had a grass pitch and I knew I would be able to train regularly,” he Watkins said to England. Football.

His footballing journey since then has been a wonderful success story, winning a professional deal with Exeter City and then a move to Brentford, where his goals led to a £33m move to Aston Villa and eventually then, on recognition with England.

This inspiring local story prompted an ITV film crew to descend on Decoy Primary and the pupils loved it, as Year 6 Zachary described.

“Ever since I got into football, I’ve always kept up with Ollie and how he’s doing. He is a kind of role model for many children in our school and he fully deserves it.

“Ollie is a superb player for Villa. Just to think he went from grassroots football at Decoy to professional football in the most competitive league in the world.

“Everyone in our school is very inspired by him. Watkins is such a good player and he is one of the most famous and magnificent players in the Premier League. He’ll do so well at the Euros, I’m sure.”

It’s a remarkable local achievement story and it could be even better if Ollie scores the winning goal for England in the Euro 2024 final. If the miracle happens, our loudest cheers will come from the children of Decoy Primary.

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