Oxford United’s new intake of scholars has been finalised with full back Ben Watt making it nine new faces when the scholars report back.
Ben is an explosive, modern day full back who has signed from Spurs. Ben has also represented England as an U15 and joins the U’s after impressing in a fixture against Premier League side AFC Bournemouth. A composed, ball-playing full back with the ability to support attacks from deep, Watt will be looking to follow in the footsteps of previous Academy graduates Josh Ruffels and Sam Long who have gone on to become established first team full backs.
We asked Ben for his story so far:
“My earliest story of me playing football is at nursery where my dad would pass the ball to me and I would “thump/hoof” the ball up in the air. At the age of 5, to keep me occupied on a Saturday, my mum found a local football club that had training sessions. I started playing competitive games for Edmonton Rangers, but I was playing with boys who were a year older then me. I was scouted by a few clubs, but I chose to join Tottenham Academy because of its locality to me. In addition, my mum is an avid Tottenham supporter; I stayed there until the age of 16.
I fell in love with the game because from a very young age, I loved having a ball at my feet and was driven by the idea of getting better. Also, hopefully- one day having a career in the game.
My first game I played for Oxford United was playing at right back against Bournemouth U18s. I played 70 min of the game and enjoyed every minute of it. One of my major milestones was as an U15 making my debut for England U16s away against Croatia: we won 2-0. Another major milestone for me was being selected to play one year up for most of the season at Tottenham Academy. I featured and started in the Premier League tournaments.
After 10 years at Tottenham, I was given notice of being released: I will use this as an opportunity to embrace this new challenge. I am most proud of making my third competitive appearance for England U16s.
To keep fit during this lockdown, I have been going on runs and keeping my legs ticking trying to go out as much as possible. My motivation is to return better and improve all my weaknesses and strengths to allow me to become a better all round footballer.
The thing I’m missing most is the Match Day feeling and the atmosphere of the being in the changing room on any given day; it just gives me a buzz.
I’m most looking forward to returning to a regular training routine and my desired goals. I am prepared for the work I have to put in on and off the pitch. In the next few months I’d like to be in and around the first team. By the end of my scholarship I’d like to be playing first team football.
In the next five years I would like to be playing regular first team football at a high level. The only way I am going to make it happen is having the same passion and love for the game I have at this very moment time and have always had."