Thank you to Exeter City supporter Louis for answering these questions!
How long have you supported Exeter City?
I’ve been following Exeter since around 2003, some very dark days for the club. There have been ups and downs since then, but the future is looking a whole lot brighter for us than it did 15 years ago.
Last Season’s League finish?
Last season was bizarre. We looked like strong relegation candidates in November, then put together a run similar to Accrington’s this season, which took us into the playoffs. We ended up losing in the final to Blackpool – but considering where we’d been earlier in the season, the sting perhaps wasn’t quite as strong.
What do you think of your Manager?
Personally, I think he’s solid, but I’m certainly not his biggest fan. Tisdale has been here for a very long time, but his relationship with the fans has soured over the last few years. The ECFC Supporters Trust voted to serve notice on his two-year rolling contract in November 2016, and he hasn’t taken it too well – but having a manager on a contract that meant we couldn’t afford to get rid of him was really poor administration. He’s good at developing youth, and the players seem to think very highly of him, but it’s fair to say that stagnation had crept in before the ‘kick’ of being served notice on his contract.
What were your hopes and expectations at the start of the Season?
While we were fantastic for the second half of last season, I wasn’t too optimistic at the close of the summer transfer window. We’d lost our two best players from that season to Championship clubs; Ollie Watkins to Brentford and David Wheeler to QPR. We managed to bring back Jayden Stockley from Aberdeen for a club-record fee, but there was definitely a big worry that there just weren’t enough goals in the side. Hopeful of playoffs, but not expectant. This season has beaten my own expectations for sure.
One(s) to watch?
Jayden Stockley (centre forward) is the man that must be kept quiet if you’re to have any chance of success. Most of our goals involve him in some way – he’s fantastic in the air and can bully even the best centre-backs in League Two.
Christy Pym (goalkeeper) was voted our player of the season, and for good reason. He’s been in fantastic form this season, and on his day can be almost impossible to beat.
What were you top seven predictions at the start of the Season?
Luton, Coventry, Mansfield, Swindon, Wycombe, Chesterfield and Carlisle.
Not the best shouts there.
What were your bottom two predictions at the start of the Season?
Yeovil Town and Newport County.
Thoughts on Lincoln City?
Very good support at the moment, which is always nice to see at this level. The boss is held in high regard too, for good reason. Seems like you’ve attempted to take the ‘bruisers of the league’ title from Luton / Wycombe this season though. Probably beatable – we’ll be looking to keep things tight away from home I’d expect, our home form this season is very good.
1-1, late Exeter goal.
Random fact about your Club?
Have you ever played Brazil? We have – their national side formed in order to play a visiting Exeter City team in 1914.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as an Exeter City Supporter?
Embarrassing? Everything related to the former administration of the club directly before the Supporters Trust took the reigns. From police raiding the ground, to having Uri Geller appointed as co-chairman, having Michael Jackson as an honorary director, and the resulting relegation from the Football League.
Proudest would be the 8th place finish in League One back in 2010-11 season. We missed out on the playoffs by one point that season, but there was a real feeling of optimism around the club and the feeling that anything was possible. We were relegated the next season.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
Do we have one? We own the thing! We became fan-owned in 2003, and haven’t looked back since.
Which was your favourite match involving Exeter City?
The second leg of last season’s play-off final is right up there. We drew 3-3 away to Carlisle in the first leg, blowing a two-goal advantage, so it all came down to the home match. We went 2-0 up but conceded two goals in the last 10 minutes of normal time to be put back to square one. Step up Jack Stacey (promoted this season with Luton) to smash in his only goal for the club in the 5th minute of time added on to get us to the play-off finals, in the last game in front of the old Grandstand.
Which was your least favourite match involving Exeter City?
A play-off final defeat to Morecambe in 2007. As you know, with only two promotion spots available it can feel impossible to get back into the Football League, so losing in a play-off final was a real kick in the teeth, especially after going in front. Luckily we made amends by going up next season, and the season after that, too! Fun fact, our goalkeeper on that day (Paul Jones) is currently back at the club, on loan from Norwich City.
If Exeter City FC were a hat, what kind of hat would it be?
A flat cap – we’re the Devon club after all.
Has the Tisdale scenario has an unsettling impact around the Club, particularly on the team?
You’d have maybe expected it to, but it hasn’t really affected things on the field. There also seems to be a feeling that he’ll stay if we go up, so perhaps it even adds a little extra motivation for the players.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) May 11, 2018