Kelland Watts has gotten off to a great start with Plymouth Argyle in League One this season. It’s his third loan move after having very successful spells with both Stevenage and Mansfield Town last season.
Unfortunately, his stint with The Stags was cut short due to the coronavirus lockdown in March and he ended up with just 8 appearances.
However, Watts gained valuable experience as Steve Bruce kept the 20-year-old with the first team to train. That culminated in his Newcastle debut in our final game of last season against Liverpool when he came on for Danny Rose late in the second half.
Now Kelland is testing his mettle at the League One level with Plymouth. He’s getting a ton of first-team experience so far. Watts has played every minute for The Pilgrims in the league as well as starting both of their Carabao Cup matches.
The Alnwick-born defender has spoken to Plymouth Live about how things are going for him in the south-west:
“In the north-east, it’s not doing the best at the minute (with COVID-19) so I’m not really going back home, I’m just staying down in Plymouth.
“I’m concentrating on all the games and just speaking on Facetime to my family and friends.
“It’s a long way from home but I have got to go for my football career.
“The way the Gaffer plays, the patterns of play that we use, the fanbase as well, it was a massive pull.
“It didn’t really faze me. I had been on loan a couple of times last year, living away from home, so it was fine.”
“Unfortunately, with the circumstances, I haven’t actually been able to play in front of a full Home Park.
“Hopefully, that day will come very soon, which I’m looking forward to massively.
“I want to play as much as I can, to learn from the boys – there are some great players in the team – and I’m always learning off great staff.
“I keep battering them with questions because I just want to be better.
“Team-wise, I want us to put a stamp on League One. The way we play is exciting football and we have managed to get a couple of sheets at home as well.
“The goals for the season is to keep as many clean sheets as we can, win games at Home Park and do well away from home as well.”
This is an excellent opportunity for Watts, who signed a three-year contract to 2023 last October, to improve with Plymouth. When Kell returns next summer, he could have a chance to make the Newcastle squad for next season. He’ll be 21 by then and is one of our top young prospects.