Tuesday, 12 August 2014

It's all been going on at Exeter City ahead of AFCB's visit

I know it's tough down in League Two and some clubs have it harder than others. AFCB's opponents tonight though in the Capital One Cup could have had an easier ride over the summer. At first questions were asked about the wisdom of taking the team as far away as Brazil in pre-season when funds might better be spent on other things. Then there was a social media storm with captain Danny Coles finding himself stripped of the captaincy and transfer listed. I haven't even got to the chief executive, Guy Wolfenden, resigning and manager Paul Tisdale naming himself as a player for the first league game against Portsmouth, as the squad had a bug and was short of numbers. Oh, and the club has a transfer embargo as well.

Such problems make you think that Paul Tisdale is quite a special manager. This is reinforced when you see that he is the second longest serving football league manager. Only Arsen Wenger is above him in that respect and up until last year Tisdale probably had just as much silverware in the boardroom cabinet (Eddie Howe is already 27th by the way). But seriously, it takes a special kind of manager to deal with all the non-football matters of a club when you are in League Two and yet don't let anyone tell you that the fans don't see their football as a life or death matter. It matters to Exeter fans how they do against rivals Plymouth and even Torquay Utd in pre-season. The relegation of Torquay probably seemed good to the Exeter fans but in the long run they need their derby matches as something to look forward to I would have thought.  

Exeter are showing that they are up for the fight this season and probably felt unlucky not to get all three points in their first league game against a strong Pompey side on Saturday. The side that Tisdale put out probably gives a pretty good idea of how the team will set up as they don't have a vast array of numbers. Tom Nichol's was on target then and the forward is only 20 and will surely improve under Tisdale's coaching, while he is on loan from Dorchester Town. Exeter's problems though are highlighted by the fact that they only had four shots at goal against Portsmouth all match, but at least they were all on target. The difficulties over the depth of the squad are shown in that fact that the team has first year professionals like Jason Pope and Connor-Riley Lowe, while Ollie Watkins was on the bench on Saturday and in July was said not yet to have make a first team debut. So it really is a bit of a Development squad at Exeter with some seasoned professionals like, Pat Baldwin who is on loan from Southend and Matt Oakley, former Saints player.

What team Eddie Howe plays is almost any one's guess but you would expect some of those needing some minutes under their belt would be used like, Ward, Fraser, MacDonald, Flahavan, Pitman, Rantie, Smith and Cargill, but perhaps one or two Development players will get a go too like Ben Whitfield and Sam Matthews. If you are heading off to St James Park, enjoy the game. 

Kyle's Cups also has an extra article that profiles Exeter City's captain Scott Bennett.

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