SUPPORTERS of any football club, be it Tottenham or Taunton, love to see homegrown talent flourish in the first team.

And for Peacocks fans there is no greater embodiment of that than Ollie Chamberlain, now established as a crucial component of the midfield machine.

The 24-year-old started playing at the age of six or seven, down the road at Bishops Lydeard, and aside from a couple of years down in Exeter, he stayed with them through to Under-14 level.

After a spell at Galmington Dragons, Chamberlain became part of Taunton Town’s Under-18 side and made a few first team appearances at the age of 17.

Seeking more first team opportunities, he departed for Bridgwater Town, but things didn’t work out there and he joined Wellington.

After a good season there, he was back at Bridgwater in 2014/15 and playing regular Southern League football, at which point Taunton came calling.

Chamberlain told the County Gazette: “My first spell at Bridgwater maybe came too early for me, so I took a step back and enjoyed my football at Wellington.

“Playing for those teams prepared me physically for men’s football.”

On the decision to join Taunton, he said: “It’s always nice when another team comes in for you, especially your hometown club.

“It was easy to say yes, even though I was playing well for a manager I really respected [Paul West at Bridgwater].

“It felt like the clubs were going in different directions, so it was a bit of a selfish decision, but I’ve gone from strength to strength in the last three years, so it was a good one in hindsight.”

Chamberlain has become a real midfield dynamo under Leigh Robinson and now Rob Dray.

He said: “I have huge respect for Leigh and Meaks [Michael Meaker], as they built a winning team and we had so much success.

“Rob has kept the ship steady, not changed too much, and along with Matt [Villis] and Steve [Perkins] I think he’s done a fantastic job.

“It’s great to be a part of this team; there’s so many different personalities, but everyone wants to win.”

This season Chamberlain has been part of an effective trio with Ryan Brett and Matt Buse, and he’s pleased with the midfield’s contribution to the team goal tally – all three of them scoring eight so far.

Chamberlain believes promotion is “up for grabs” and the players “fancy their chances”.

“The club is well set up now and we’re getting good crowds, a big boost to the team and the club.

“It gives you belief that promotion is possible, and I think that this team could hold its own in the league above, with just a few additions.”

Last month the midfielder signed a contract extension through to the summer of 2020, and the support from the sidelines helped make that an “easy decision”.

“The club is on my doorstep and it’s on the way up,” he explained.

“There’s been a bit of interest [from other clubs], but now is not the right time [to move]; I want to keep improving here.

“It’s a great feeling [to be a fan favourite], having come through the youth ranks.

“I have great respect for the fans – they travel miles to cheer us on home and away.

“They’re a great contribution to our success, and we wouldn’t be where we are without them.

“The whole club is in a good place and is only going only way.”