Thank you to Exeter City supporter Trevor for answering these questions!
How long have you supported Exeter City?
Taken to games as a toddler and started to take serious interest aged 6 in 1948. At that time the Club were then playing in red and white hoops.
Last Season’s League finish?
5th and in playoffs.
What do you think of your Manager?
Paul Tisdale is a total enigma rather like marmite as particularly now where the supporters are divided into two groups “Tisdale out” or “Tisdale in” the former being generally annoyed by the fact that he will never admit to or acknowledge making any mistakes. I am one of the very few neutrals.
He is certainly not your typical Football manager and when being interviewed tends to use a very different vocabulary to most others and as such this does not always sit easily with supporters who sometimes feel he is talking down to them. He is also far from typical in his approach to management, in general, many supporters feeling that he overthinks things and it frustrates many of them that he will not hesitate to change a winning team if in his opinion he needs to make the changes to counteract the playing methods of the opposing manager.
Over his time at the Club, he has both frustrated and delighted supporters with his team selections and tactics some of which have proven to be far-seeing and successful others disastrous. A good example of the latter being after playing Liverpool at home in the cup drawing 2-2 with our striker Tom Nichols scoring the opening goal and being given rave reviews by Lineker and his fellow pundits starting on the bench for the replay.
What were your hopes and expectations at the start of the Season?
One(s) to watch?
Keeper Christy Pym three England Under 20 caps, another graduate of the Club’s Academy ever-present this season and looking quite capable of following in the footsteps of his namesake Dick Pym who in 1921 left the Club to join Bolton in the then Division One making 301 League appearances as well as winning 3 England caps.
Pierce Sweeney designated penalty taker and although playing in back four has often popped up out of nowhere in our opponent’s penalty area and scored.
Jayden Stockley striker powerful in the air and for a big man a good touch on the ground.
Jake Taylor tigerish in midfield with a decent goal scoring record.
What were you top seven predictions at the start of the Season?
Luton Town, Coventry City, Mansfield Town, Exeter City, Swindon Town, Carlisle United and Lincoln City.
What were your bottom two predictions at the start of the Season?
Forest Green Rovers and Morecambe.
Thoughts on Lincoln City?
A sound well run Club and I was surprised how long they were in the fifth tier before seriously looking like making a return to the Football League.
Lincoln City 2 Exeter City 2
Exeter City 2 Lincoln City 1
Random fact about your Club?
Now fairly well known that we toured South America in 1914 and were the first team to play the Brazilian National side.
Defying the Football League in April 1974 by refusing to travel to play an away game against Scunthorpe United. The Club were backed by the Club Doctor who warned that there could be health risks to some of the players had they played. Nine certificates were issued and with one player unavailable due to suspension the Club was left with only nine available players of which two were goalkeepers. However despite all this the Football League remained unmoved and fined the Club £5,000 a significant sum in those days, for failing to fulfil the fixture.
Won the Fourth Division Championship 1990 by 10 points with an unbeaten home record with 20 wins and 3 draws although away a different story 13 defeats, 8 wins and 2 draws. All of this though achieved without leading scorer Darren Rowbotham who had scored 20 goals with still 14 games left to play suffered a serious knee injury which left him sidelined for the remainder of the season.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as an Exeter City Supporter?
Proudest there are a few:
Playing Manchester United at Exeter in the third round of the FA Cup January 1968 when they were the reigning European Cup Holders. The United line-up included Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, George Best and Nobby Stiles but it was City’s pocket goal scorer Alan Banks who 15 minutes after the kick off sent a diving header past Alex Stepney for the opening goal. 18 minutes later we had the ball in the net again but the goal was disallowed for an infringement which was far from obvious.
More than holding our own against Tottenham in an FA Cup 6th round tie season 1980/81 until losing our playmaker Ian Pearson to cynical challenge by Spur’s Miller and finally losing 2-0. Steve Perryman now currently Director of Football with the Club saying that we had them worried and deserved at least a draw.
Never to be forgotten after being relegated out of the Football League in 2003 whilst still a Non-League Club an FA Cup third round Visit to Old Trafford in January 2005 and holding Manchester United 0-0 this after Sir Alex had thrown on the big guns Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes and Alan Smith for the last 20 minutes.
I took a photo of the scoreboard at halftime Manchester United 0 Exeter City 0 45 minutes for posterity never thinking I would be able to take another showing the same score at the end of the game.
We also put up a more than decent performance in the replay. Sir Alex took no risks starting with Ronaldo, Scholes, Rooney and Giggs but despite going a goal down early in the first half scored by Ronaldo City were still in with a chance right up until the last few minutes of the game when Rooney was put through sidestepping City keeper Paul Jones to score United’s second and clincher goal. Even then because the pitch was more than a little muddy the ball only just made it over the line before one of City’s defenders running back trying to clear it could get there.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
After the debacle of the Russel and Lewis ownership the Club and prior to the commencement of the Club’s first season in the Conference it was taken over by the Exeter City Supporters Trust of which I was and still am a member, and it was their efforts both in fighting off the Conference League’s attempt to deduct points from the Club due it having gone into administration and the Inland Revenue’s attempt to derail its CVA, that saved the Club.
Even then it has not been an easy ride as there was no precedent for us to follow. The make of the Club was such that there was Main Board and a group of Trustees of which I was also one, in place to look after the interests of the Trust Membership. It has gradually evolved and there are now two Trustees on the Main Board.
This ownership has its pros and cons one of the main pros being that the supporters feel they have a direct affinity with the Club and the Club itself is no longer easy prey for any less than desirable private owners.
However, the other side of the coin is that without any private ownership it is totally reliant on Trust funds, match day income and income from selling on Academy players, which in itself limits the Club’s ambition to progress and achieve their ultimate aim of making it into the Championship.
Currently, it is in a sound position financially having developed and sold for sums well in excess of one million Matt Grimes to Swansea, Ollie Watkins to Brentford and most recently Ethan Ampadu to Chelsea.
Which was your favourite match involving Exeter City?
The 2005 game at Old Trafford as mentioned earlier above.
Which was your least favourite match involving Exeter City?
Again there have been a few.
The Conference playoff final 2007 against Morecambe. Up until that game we had played them a number of times and had an unbeaten record against them. Consequently, as supporters, we travelled to Wembley fully expecting to win and maintain our record. We scored first then our keeper Paul Jones saved a penalty and we really thought it was going to be our day. They equalised late in the first half. Second half we were on top but failed to make it count. We really felt it was only a matter of time before we scored but then with around 15 minutes left to play Morecambe broke and from about midway between the halfway line and our penalty area one of the Morecambe strikers fired in an unstoppable shot past Jones. It came completely out the blue and literally knocked the team and ourselves as supporters for six and we never looked like getting back into the game.
The recent FA Cup defeat away to Warrington made all the worse by it being televised for millions to watch.
If Exeter City FC were a hat, what kind of hat would it be?
A difficult question to answer but as we try to play stylish football do not practice any of the so-called “dark arts” and as a Trust owned Club see ourselves all part of the Exeter City family I think an unpretentious but smart flat cap sums the Club up pretty well.
Has the Tisdale scenario has an unsettling impact around the Club, particularly on the team?
Around the Club and Supporters possibly yes but the team no. They are a close-knit unit and to be fair to Tisdale he is loyal to his players and they, in turn, repay him with their total loyalty. Even last season when we had our worst start to the season ever he never lost the dressing room.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) May 11, 2018