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  • Billy Wooldridge

Southampton Loanee Caleb Watts On His Season With Morecambe And The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

20-year-old Southampton loanee Caleb Watts has spent this season with League One Morecambe and has recently spoken on the first five months of his time in Lancashire.

“I’d say it’s been a lot of learning,” said Watts. “There are a load of things what I couldn’t learn in the 23’s that I’ve learnt this year.”

After 12 games, The Shrimps were in 22nd place, with only eight points but after winning their last three, Derek Adams’ side have moved out of the bottom four in 19th.

“It’s a young team and there was a lot of clicking to do, at the start of the season our results weren’t great,” explained Watts. “But now we’ve picked up three on the bounce and you’re

seeing a young group of players starting to click and getting results.”

The 20-year-old began his career in the QPR youth setup before joining Southampton in 2018, signing his first professional contract with the Saints in January 2021.

On New Years Day, Watts scored his first two professional goals in a stunning 5-0 win at home to Burton Albion after coming on at half-time for Cole Stockton.

“I’ve missed a few chances earlier in the year,” said Watts, “and I said to Isaac, my brother, that I just want an easy one to get off the mark.”

“To have done that is good and I feel like I can kick on and pick up a few more before the seasons out,” finished Watts.

The attacking midfielder’s first was in the 51st minute following a scrappy failed clearance, leaving Watts to tap home from 10 yards out.

His second was late in the game after a through ball from Ryan Cooney before slotting home confidently past the oncoming Ben Garratt in goal.

Following the game, a lot of scrutiny was aimed towards the assistant for failing to flag Watts, even though on first look the 20-year-old looked clearly offside.

“To be fair, there’s a photo of the whole pitch when the ball’s played,” explained Watts. “I think I’m a step offside but the camera angle makes it look terrible and it’s not that bad, a

goals a goal, I couldn’t care less really.”

Away from club football, Watts was part of the Australian side who took a trip to Tokyo for the delayed 2020 Olympics, and spoke highly of that experience at such a young age.

“It was great to be able to get the call up, a big honour,” said Watts. “I guess COVID kind of messed with the experience a little as we weren’t allowed out the hotel to experience the city

but the locals were good to us and whenever we played football it was great.”

The Australian side were knocked out in the group stage, however won their opening match 2-0 against an Argentinian side that included recent World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister.

Soon after that competition, Watts had a loan move to Crawley Town in January 2022, however the 20-year-old only managed one appearance during that time and looks back at it now as a big learning curve in his career.

“It was a really strange experience,” explains Watts. “I went to Crawley with a big experience to play first-team minutes, but I pulled my hamstring 18 minutes in.”

“I’ve never had a hamstring injury before so it was just out of the blue. I’ve never been out for an extended period of time, I think doing that long rehab has helped me realised how much you have to do to stay fit,” said Watts.

“I tried to stay away from watching football,” explained Watts on the mentality during a loan term injury. “I started meditating and tried not to be close to football cause it can be frustrating seeing it and wanting to get back out there.”

“I just tried to tackle it thinking ‘this is my job now’, rehab everyday and enjoying each day that I got back running and kicking a ball,” finished Watts.

With five months left of the season, Watts is ready to kick on before his return to Southampton and is ready for where he ends up come the start of the new season.

“I’m in my last year at Southampton so however that pans out depends on how well I do for the rest of the season,” said Watts. “Next year I just want to be playing men’s football at a level that challenges me so I can keep developing.”

Morecambe visit Cambridge United on Saturday as it is 19th vs 20th with a chance for the Shrimps to extend their winning run to four.

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