ENGLAND-born Saints youngster Caleb Watts expressed his pride towards Australia following his Olyroos Olympic Games call-up, saying: “I feel very connected to the country.”

Watts’ grandparents are from Australia and his Dad was born in the country, with the central midfielder representing them at under-17 level for the 2019 World Cup in Brazil.

The side advanced to the knockout stages before falling 4-0 to eventual semi-finalists France, and Watts has also represented the under-23 side since.

After making three Premier League appearances from the bench for Saints during the 2020-21 season, Watts’ raised profile has seen him selected by first team Australia manager Graham Arnold – who is also managing the Olyroos for the Games.

Watts and his international team-mates kick off their Group C campaign on Thursday, when they take on Argentina at the Sapporo Dome.

Egypt and Spain also occupy their tournament group.

Speaking to the Olyroos official podcast, Watts said: “I feel very connected to the country, obviously I’ve got an English accent and all but I do feel more Australian than anything, especially when I stick that shirt on.

“I think I was just in my bed and I got a call from Arnie saying I was in the squad. I kind of did like a double-take to really register what he said.

“My mum is a massive Olympics fan, so she did a lot of screaming, but it was a nice surprise for her to wake up to.”

It was however a famous British Olympic moment which Watts reflected fondly on.

Asked of his Games memories, he added: “Yeah I think in London 2012 when Mo Farah won the 5000m, seeing how the excitement around the country bought people together, that’s one of the reasons I love sport, that’s a moment that sticks in my head.

“I didn’t really know anyone coming here (the Australia camp) but everyone’s very friendly and we’re all here for the same reason.

“I think after a couple of days everyone’s comfortable around everyone and the standard of training has been good.”