Former Exeter star Chris Todd running football from home
- Credit: Pinnacle Photo Agency
Cullompton-based former Exeter City defender Chris Todd is now the Academy manager at Torquay United and also works with the English Colleges FA, but he is making some key football decisions from home.
A former captain of the Grecians, Todd has described the ongoing uncertainty which successive lockdowns have imposed on the various age-groups in Academy football, especially the under-18s hoping to become professionals next season.
Todd, who fought back from leukaemia during his time as a player at Torquay, is also having to stay away from the club and training ground because of his own health reasons.
“It’s very frustrating for me, but also for everyone involved in our Academy,” said Swansea-born Todd, 39.
“I’ve been in remission for ten years, and my health is great, thank goodness, but I am still classed as ‘high risk’.
“I also work with the first team, but I can’t do that either right now.”
Four local teenagers – Olaf Koszela, Louie Slough, Jacob Evans and Owen Price – have graduated to pro deals over the last two years.
Todd explained: “The Academy has been in and out of lockdown for months – our first day back after Christmas was the same evening that they announced the latest lockdown.
“It’s been very difficult for the youngsters, especially for the older age-groups.
“These months are always so important for the under-18s to potentially get a professional contract.
“Training day-in day-out is one thing, but you really develop and show what you can do in games, and they can’t do that either at the moment.
“We can’t do the same ‘bubbles’ as the first team players.
“The boys’ futures rely on us making decisions and, as things stand, we’ll have to do that a bit like the teachers in schools will have to do later this year instead of exams.
“It’s a world of challenges at the moment, but everyone is doing their best to help, and I’ve got some great staff around me.
“The safety of everyone is paramount, so the vaccines can’t come soon enough for us all to get back doing what we love.”