Caleb Watts has point to prove after signing new Exeter City deal

Caleb Watts has admitted he has a bit of a point to prove with exeter-city-fc>Exeter City after signing his third short-term deal with the Grecians. Having joined in September 2023, the Australian did enough for his original contract which ran until January to be extended until the end of the season.

But his time at St James Park has been injury-hit and very stop-start. Watts joined the Grecians from Southampton on a free transfer, having featured for Australia at the last Olympic Games. The highlight of his first season was scoring a memorable goal in the 1-0 win over Cheltenham Town just moments after entering the pitch as a substitute.

But the 22-year-old was limited to just 11 appearances for Gary Caldwell’s men, only four of which were starts in a difficult season. However, the versatile man has now signed another short-term deal with City until at least the end of January 2025.

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Watts is confident that he has the ability to play at League One level – and Caldwell has spoken highly of the level he has shown when available. But he has not been fit enough, often enough, to show that – but he aims to get a full pre-season under his belt and that his injury issues will be behind him.

“It was an easy decision for me,” Watts said. “I’ve been here, I've enjoyed my time here and the question now is me staying fit and I am confident I can do that this season, so it was a no brainer for me.

“I have had an opportunity this summer to work on an injury that has been niggling me for a few years and has kept me out a load of times. Hopefully we can see the fruits of that this season and I can prove that I can stay fit and be productive

“I have had a few positive starts, but if I can start this season the way I started last season, then I think I will give the club a real decision to make. I can only win by playing well and staying fit. I am confident I can play at this level if I stay fit, so just have to be the best version of myself for 46 or however many games it is.”

"Caleb is someone who would say he had a disappointing season last year, and he was hugely unlucky with injuries,” boss Caldwell said. “However, when he was fit and playing, Caleb showed real tenacity and worked hard, and he is someone who we wanted to offer another contract to. The contract runs until January to give him the opportunity to prove himself in a position that is hugely competitive.”