Watson: New deal was top of the Christmas list

A new deal was top of the Christmas list for David Watson, who believes it was an “easy decision” to extend his stay at Rugby Park having been part of the Killie family for more than a decade.

Speaking to media after extending his contract until 2026, the 18-year-old said: “It’s good to get it done. We had been discussing it for a few weeks now and it went quite smoothly: it was an easy one to sign.

“It’s obviously a great feeling seeing that the manager has a lot of trust in me. It gives me security; I know where I stand and how he feels about me as a player. The manager has been really important as he obviously handed me a full league debut and the chance to show myself to the world.”

The midfielder had been part of a closely-knit academy age group since joining as a 7-year-old but is now enjoying the intensity of a first-team dressing room.

“Bobby Wales, Aaron Brown, Steven Warnock and a few others were here when I joined. It was just training at the start, but I signed my first youth contract at 10 years old and it has just gone from there.

“In terms of the step up to the senior game, it’s just a case of dealing with the pressures of first-team football, the way you carry yourself on and off the park, and taking on advice from people above you.”

Alongside his emergence into the first-team, the son of a former Scotland Women’s National Team Player has followed in his mother’s footsteps by breaking into the international set-up with Billy Stark’s Under-19s.

“It’s been good playing against boys my own age again. They’re obviously the best in their country so it’s a good challenge. It feels natural as they’re all pushing to be first-team players as well. I think everyone is at the same level and we’re a good team with good togetherness in the camp.

“I think every young player wants to play for their national team so it would be a really proud moment for me and my family if I could represent the country in the future.”