Thank you to Exeter City supporter Laurie for answering these questions!
How long have you supported Exeter City?
For pretty much as long as I can remember! My dad took me to my first game when I was around 5 years old and he used to take me to every game as he was a season-ticket holder for a while. Sadly, due to currently being at university in Durham, I don’t get to go to as many games as I would like to these days, however still follow them week in week out in whatever way I can!
Last Season’s League finish?
Last season was very topsy-turvy – having been near the foot of the table near Christmas it was quite incredible to see us get all the way to the playoff final and so it was gutting to see us just fall at the final hurdle. Despite losing key players from last season in Ollie Watkins and David Wheeler, the foundations for our good season were definitely put in place last term.
What do you think of your Manager?
I was 10 years old when Paul Tisdale became Exeter manager – that says a lot in itself, but also means I have very little from memory to compare his performance too! However, the job he has done over all that time at Exeter City has been fantastic; not only has he built us into a club with a reputation for playing good football at this level, but he has been critical to the longer-term development of the club from a financial point of view. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea for sure, however, I think that fans wanting him out of the door should be careful what they wish for…
What were your hopes and expectations at the start of the Season?
My hope was that we’d go one better than last season and secure promotion, whether that be by the playoffs or automatics. As already mentioned, however, having lost key players in Ollie Watkins and David Wheeler in the summer, this was still going to be a difficult task despite last year’s solid foundations. Overall, although it was disappointing to narrowly miss out on the final automatic promotion place, I would have absolutely taken being in the playoffs for the second year running if it was offered to me at the start of the season.
One(s) to watch?
Since signing him from Aberdeen at the end of the summer transfer window, Jayden Stockley has been fantastic up front this season, scoring 24 goals in all competitions this season. Our goalkeeper Christy Pym has been outstanding this season, with several match-winning performances that saw him pick up several awards at the end of season awards a few weeks ago. Finally, our playoff hopes are boosted by the return of our centre-back and captain Jordan Moore-Taylor who has been fantastic for us over a number of seasons now.
What were your top seven predictions at the start of the Season?
Luton, Notts County, Coventry, Mansfield, Swindon, Exeter and Wycombe.
What were your bottom two predictions at the start of the Season?
Forest Green Rovers and Morecambe.
Thoughts on Lincoln City?
Having followed the Imps magnificent FA Cup exploits and long-awaited return to the Football League last term, it seemed impossible for them to have a season that got anywhere near as good as that, but my goodness they’ve given it a good go! Their form in the 2nd half of the season, in particular, has been fantastic and are sure to provide a really tough test over these 2-legs. Although I wasn’t at the game between the 2 sides at Sincil Bank a month or so ago, from what I’ve heard the atmosphere was electric and I’m sure it will be as good if not better Saturday. All in all, it makes for an exciting playoff tie!
Although Exeter didn’t finish the season as strongly as we would have liked we are boosted by the return of key players including Jordan Moore Taylor and Ryan Harley, whilst Lincoln’s heavy run of games seems to have taken its toll with a few players currently on the sidelines. Although I think Exeter are favourites, I think that atmosphere at Sincil Bank will roar the Imps on resulting in an exciting 2-2 draw leaving all to play for at St James Park next Thursday.
Random fact about your Club?
We were the first team ever to play Brazil in 1914 following a pre-season tour of South-America. As a result, to celebrate our centenary in 2004, we played a Brazilian Masters team consisting of 1994 World Cup winning players including Dunga.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as an Exeter City Supporter?
My proudest moment has to be as an 8-year-old watching us famously hold Manchester United to a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup at Old Trafford, which financially saved the club back then. Although the FA Cup has given us some joy it has also given us several embarrassing moments including losing 1-0 to Warrington Town in the 1st round 2014; the game was live on the BBC so it would be fair to say I copped a bit of stick when I got to college on Monday morning!
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
The Exeter City Supporters Trust was formed in 2000 and helped to save the club when it almost went bust in 2003. Membership numbers I believe are currently above 3000, with the trust being the majority shareholder at the club. In this modern era of football with unbelievable amounts of money flying around, it makes me quite proud to be able to say that we as supporters own our football club and that our achievements on the pitch aren’t coming as a result of a rich owner throwing money at it.
Which was your favourite match involving Exeter City?
Although I wasn’t there, my favourite match would have to be last season’s play-off second leg at home to Carlisle. Having been 2 goals ahead on aggregate with less than 10 minutes to go I couldn’t believe it when Carlisle clawed it back in the 90th Minute, only for Jack Stacey to fire a shot into the top corner in the 95th minute to win it. I’ve never experienced elation like it before and seeing that shot fly into the net is something I will never forget!
Which was your least favourite match involving Exeter City?
My least favourite game was one that I attended, which was again against Carlisle but this time during the regular season last term at Brunton Park. The club was in 23rd position at the start of play after about 20 games played and having been 2-1 up with 90 minutes on the clock we ended up losing 3-2 to send us to the foot of the football league; it was a real low point, however looking on now it just makes that play-off semi-final win previously mentioned all the sweeter!
If Exeter City FC were a hat, what kind of hat would it be?
Paul Tisdale is well known for his stylish dress sense on the touchlines and has on many occasions donned a flat cap, which I think would sum up Exeter City fairly well; perhaps a little old fashioned with the way we do things in this modern era of football, however, it looks good on the eye!
Has the Tisdale scenario has an unsettling impact around the Club, particularly on the team?
Although there seemed to be a bit of a fallout between fans over opinions on Tisdale during the penultimate game at Stevenage, since then it seems that fans have come together again to give the team the 110% backing that they will need during the playoffs. The players seem to have been totally unaffected by it and focussed on the job in hand so it shouldn’t hamper our playoff chances. With his contract up in a few months time, however, it will be interesting to see the decision he makes about his future.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) May 11, 2018