Exeter City's Ollie Watkins named EFL Young Player of the Year after breakthrough campaign

Exeter City's Ollie Watkins has been named the English Football League's Young Player of the Year for this season.

The 21-year-old has followed in the footsteps of Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Tottenham's Dele Alli in winning the award.

The up-and-coming forward has scored thirteen goals and made 12 assists in League Two this season helping to push Paul Tisdale's side into the play-offs.

Watkins follows in the footsteps of Dele Alli and Gareth Bale. Credit: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

After winning the award Watkins said he was delighted and was hoping to emulate the success of those previous winners.

Watkins has saved his best form for the play-off run-in, winning the League Two Player of the Month award for January.

Football League Young Player of the Year Previous Winners

Gareth Bale is a former Football League Young Player of the Year. Credit: PA Images
  • Gareth Bale (2007) - won the award as a youngster at Southampton. Went on to become a two-time UEFA Champions League winner, the world's most expensive player when he moved to Real Madrid in 2013 and a two-time PFA Player's Player of the Year while at Tottenham.

  • Dele Alli (2015) - probably the hottest prospect in English football now after winning the award during a breakthrough season at MK Dons. Now the spearhead of the Tottenham and England attack, scored on his Wembley debut against France and has scored 16 this season for Tottenham.

  • Nathaniel Clyne (2010) - won the award in his second season at Crystal Palace. Built his reputation at Southampton before a big money move to Liverpool in 2015 where he's become a mainstay of Jurgen Klopp's side. An England regular with 14 appearances to his name.

Dele Alli is also a former winner. Credit: PA Images
  • Fabian Delph (2009) - at Leeds United when he won the award. Has since made nine appearances for England, 100 appearances for Aston Villa and is now breaking into a high-quality Manchester City side.

  • Wilfried Zaha (2012) - was recognised as a developing star at Crystal Palace but made just two appearances after a big-money move to Manchester United. Now back at Palace enjoying the best form of his career and scoring goals for his national team Ivory Coast.

  • David Nugent (2006) - scored 54 goals in 158 appearances to help Leicester City into the Premier League. Made one England appearance and scored against Andorra in a UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifier.