Super Eagles defender William Paul Troost-Ekong has expressed his delight as Watford FC clinched promotion to the English Premier League earlier this week thanks to a goal by Senegal’s Ismailia Sarr.

The Hornets were promoted from the English Championship after securing a 1-0 win over Millwall on Saturday and Troost-Ekong is looking forward to playing in the English top-flight for the first time as the club gained immediate promotion alongside Norwich after dropping to the second division last season.

Troost-Ekong, who joined Watford in September 2020 from the Italian Serie A side from Udinese, spoke about the current season that the Hornets have had in the EFL Championship.

“It’s amazing. I can’t really put words to it now. It’s one of the best days in my life and in my career so far. We worked so hard for it and now we’ve done it, so I’m really pleased for all the boys,” Troost-Ekong told the club website.

“Credit to everyone from the backroom staff, to the media staff, to the manager, to all the physios, to the owner, to everyone. It’s amazing and it’s been a team effort. “A lot of the time when you suffer relegation, it’s difficult to pick yourselves up.

“Everyone at the club did amazing to give us the best chance and now we’re here, so we’re all really happy. It’s crazy in there [the changing room]! I had to step out for a minute just to catch my breath. There’s a lot of partying and I think deservedly so.”


Troost-Ekong featured in the 2018 FIFA World Cup for Nigeria (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Troost-Ekong has already played 32 matches in the Championship thus far this season and also managed to score once in the process although his primary job is on the defensive end of the pitch.

“So much hard work has gone into this, so this is the pinnacle. I think we have to enjoy it because you don’t get moments like this very often. At the start of the season, everybody said we wanted to do it, but it’s one thing saying it and another thing actually doing it,” he continued.

“This day would’ve been complete if we had a full stadium because it would’ve been a special day. It might not have been the prettiest football today, but I don’t think anybody will have cared. The three points are all that mattered and we managed to do it.

“We can still hear the fans [outside the stadium]. We went out to see them, which was amazing. The exciting bit of all of this is that next year we should be able to get fans in the Premier League and it will have been like we never left.

“If there was ever a year for us to not be in the Premier League, this was it. Now we’re back and hopefully, the fans will be back, and it’ll feel like we never left.”

The 27-year-old Nigerian international is a youth academy product of Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur and he was happy to share how he celebrated the Hornets’ promotion.

“I had a moment [with them] on the pitch. My phone’s been going crazy but that’s normal, I’m just trying to enjoy the moment,” he continued.

“My family home is bouncing and everyone’s having a massive party, so I can’t wait to get home and join in with that too.”

William Troost-Ekong has already featured in 47 international matches for Nigeria and has a couple of goals to his name as well.

Head coach Gernat Rohr will be most pleased with Watford’s promotion as it gives a chance to Troost-Ekong to improve and elevate his game even higher now that he will be up against some world-class attackers like Harry Kane, his national teammate Kelechi Iheanacho, Bruno Fernandes, Heung-Min Son, James Rodriguez, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and many more.