Summer progress at Exeter City
- Credit: Cameron Geran/PPAUK
It’s the close season and everyone’s off sunning themselves on their holidays, the offices are empty, the phones are silent and the stadium’s quiet….not really.
The summer months are still hard work, and sometimes even harder than the rest of the year, as we gear up for the new season.
The players, of course, get a much-deserved break, although once again reduced by the impact of Covid, but it’s all systems go at St James Park. There’s been even more activity this month, with the pitch renovations.
The media team have done a great job of recording what feels like the sowing of every seed on to the pitch and Chas’s updates have kept us enthralled. There was certainly some relief when those first green shoots appeared, and it continues to get greener every day.
The pitch won’t be ready for the pre-season games, so it will be away matches, beginning on July 6, against Weston Super Mare, with the final game against Truro City on August 3. Fans will be able to attend some of the games, and there are plans to livestream others. Keep an eye on the club’s website and social media for updates.
If you are able to attend, it will be a chance to see the new signings. This transfer window always brings a flurry of activity, as the manager and his team look to secure players they have watched, studied and targeted over the year.
The search continues to ensure there are more, but so far, we’ve welcomed Josh Coley and Scott Brown. Winger Josh joins us from Maidenhead United as our number 31, a position that is supported and enabled 1931 fund, the brilliant group of fans which contributes to a player’s costs each season.
Scott is joining as an experienced keeper and, although his prime role will be as coach, he’ll be able to pull on the gloves if we need him to!
Whilst we were all sad to say goodbye to Jenks, well some of us were any way…we have welcomed a new chief commercial officer, Darren Henderson, who comes to us with an amazing pedigree and a real enthusiasm for this new role. He’s got some exciting plans for the start of the season, so watch this space!
Sooner or later in one of these columns, I won’t mention the Academy, but here I go again…Last week was the EFL’s Youth Development Week, which puts a focus on the players coming through the EFL and going on to play at the highest levels. We’re always proud of our players’ achievements, and of course, there’s added interest with the Euros, with Ollie Watkins recently playing his third England game and Ethan Ampadu playing for Wales.
It’s been fantastic to see the success of the women’s teams recently. The first-team became Devon FA County Cup Final winners; five of the members of that team will also be heading to Brazil in December as the UK national champions of the Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five, a global five-a-side competition.
We have a special connection with Brazil and many of our fans will know the amazing experience that awaits them. If it’s anything like when we travelled there in 2014, you can be sure they will have a great time. The women’s Development Team have also had their own success, making it to the final of the Supplementary Cup and being narrowly beaten after the game went to penalties.
Finally, a huge congratulations to our manager Matt and his new wife Sarah, who tied the knot earlier this month. We wish them both all the best; hopefully Sarah knows what to expect; in my conversations with Matt prior to the wedding he was keen to ensure there was decent wifi at the hotel, so he could keep up to date with all the transfer details… Seriously though, it was a wonderful day and best of luck to them both, they’re a fantastic match!