Friday, 17 July 2015

North Devon Grecians look forward to AFCB test

Rival LinesMatch Preview
Exeter City v AFCB friendly

Blogger Interview: North Devon Grecians
Twitter @ndgrecians

It didn't take me long to find a West country contact for an inside view on what Exeter City's preparations have been like this summer. If you remember we had a word with Philip Sanders about a year ago and he is still fanatical about Exeter City as he is chairman of the North Devon Grecians. So how are matters down at St James Park?

CC: Are you happy to see Paul Tisdale stay at Exeter City for such a long time?

NDG: Great question and one which I feel splits the City supporters. There is no doubt Paul is a very intelligent person held in high regard by his peers. However he fails to endear himself to the supporters with what at times appears to be an arrogant facade overhaul I am pleased he is still the Manager of Exeter City Football Club.

CC: What has been the best news so far about the summer signing news for Exeter fans?

NDG: We signed an experienced goalkeeper in Olejnik who I feel will give us stability at the back and give our two young keepers time to develops. Holmes showed last season when on loan to us he is a strong positive left sided player with the ability to cross the ball accurately. Brown and Oyeleke I haven't seen as yet but the right age to establish them in the game.

CC: Midfielder Matt Grimes was snapped up by Swansea last January so is it a real struggle to keep hold of your good young players?

NDG: Yes on two fronts. Finance will always be a challenge for a club like the City. We are a Supporters Trust Club and therefore no benefactor in the background to plough money in regardless. Secondly players with such ability must be allowed to progress their careers.

CC: What do you feel about the other pre-season friendlies Exeter have and the teams you'll be playing?

NDG: I consider this year we have a good split of friendlies which should lead us into the season 'up and running'.

CC: You start your league campaign against Yeovil - that must be a full house for you surely?

NDG: Great opening match which I would love to think will give us full house.

CC: Can you get out of League Two in the right direction this coming season or do you think League Two is much harder this coming season than last?

NDG: I think the standard of league two will be similar to the last season. In July I am always confident of promotion!

CC: What is the pitch like at St James Park at the moment - any re-turfing been done - is it lush and green?

NDG: Over the last few seasons our playing surface as been excellent. Something I believe Paul insist on. I think during the close season it has been reseeded.

CC: I hear there are development plans for the ground - do you need more capacity?

NDG: There are plans to develop the ground but very much in the early stages. Don't feel capacity is the problem rather the old grandstand and away supporters end which for the 21st century are not acceptable.

CC: How do you expect the Exeter team to set up against AFC Bournemouth? - Pick the team if you can

NDG: Impossible to predict but sure the majority of the squad will be give a run out and perhaps a couple of players still on trail.

CC: Are there any AFC Bournemouth players that you look forward to seeing play?

NDG: I saw the cherries play a couple of seasons ago and was very impressed with Matt Richie. Now tell me he no longer at the club.

CC: Is it annoying for Exeter fans to see the Cherries in the Premier League or does it inspire the fans and the players to know that a team can rise through the leagues? I hope it's the latter.

NDG: Oh, I like this question. Bournemouth reaching the Premier League was one of the highlights of last season for me. If proves the pyramid system works. No words can express my admiration for your manager Eddie Howe and the set up he has put in place.

Finally following on from the last question I wish everyone connected to the AFC Bournemouth a successful season and make no mistake you deserve your Premiership status.

CC: Well it was great to hear from Philip again and very pleasing to know that at least one Exeter City fan wishes AFCB all the best in the Premier League. If you visit the North Devon Grecians' site you'll see that they are already checking on Exeter City's form with their Scottish tour.

Transfer gossip: AFCB have been linked with Jordan Rhodes of Blackburn Rovers, reports Shoot Magazine

Meanwhile AFCB's first home match against Aston Villa is to be shown on Setanta TVThe match time though remains unchanged.

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