‘Meeting the opposition’ – Exeter City F.C

‘Meeting the opposition’ – Exeter City F.C

I spoke to an Exeter City supporter, Jamie @jdscribble, about all things Grecians and Rovers ahead of this weekend’s League Two encounter at Prenton Park. Gain more information about the two clubs through information, opinions and a fact which puts a woeful kit on display throughout this Q+A. 

How long have you been an Exeter fan and how did you first come across the club?

I’ve been a fan since I was eight, so just over a decade, when my friend introduced me to the club and I’ve been hooked ever since. I couldn’t imagine supporting anyone else!

The highest and lowest moments that stand out across that time?

As you probably know with Tranmere it’s always a roller-coaster ride but that’s just part of the parcel supporting a lower league club. However, without a doubt my best moments are the three playoff semi final wins and to be honest I still don’t know how we didn’t go up in 2016/17 which I believe was our best opportunity to win at Wembley especially in recent years. Any win vs Argyle is also right up there.

Random fact about the club?

Our kit for the 1992 season was voted the worst in EFL history.

What were your expectations coming into the season and what are they now the campaign’s coming to a finish?

As it often does it started really well but somehow we managed to fall away but I’ll admit I’m happy how it’s going with most of the young lads impressing such as Joel Randell and Josh Key. I’ve resigned myself that we’ll get a playoff place as I don’t think we’ve been consistent enough in all areas of the pitch especially at the back but having said that we have plenty of games in hand plus plenty of firepower up top so who knows what could happen before the end of the season. However, plenty of sides above us are better equipped.

The former Grecians centre half, Matt Taylor, now manages the club. How long has he been in this role and what are your thoughts on him?

Taylor has been in charge for the last 3 seasons and he’s done well. He knows the club and knows what the fans expect plus he plays  an exciting style of football but he’s still relatively new to the managerial venture and I’m certain he’ll continue to improve.

Exeter City is owned and ran by the fans themselves, thoughts on this?

It’s been well documented over the years that we are owned by the fans (AKA The Supporters Trust) who continue to put the club first and invest very shrewdly over the last few years improving the pitch and little by little improving the playing squad and more notable our academy which is due more renovations thanks to our massive transfer windfall. Just this week, they announced funds for a new electric scoreboard but long story short I think we’re in good financial shape for the coming years.

Who should the Rovers defence be keeping a careful eye on?

Our star men this season have been Matt Jay who has scored 17 goals this campaign and has been really clever with his link up play bringing others into play. He balances his style of play well with the pace he possesses. 

Josh Key is another one of our young starlets who’s improving game by game. He’s quick, strong, solid defensively and good on the ball with a good cross on him, basically everything you want in a right back. Ryan Bowman is up there as well, he’s got a knack for crucial goals and has 15 for the season and uses his physicality to bully defenders.

The reverse fixture was crazy, it finished in a 5-0 victory for Taylor’s men! Thoughts on that game?

I definitely wasn’t expecting the game to end the way it did, especially as Tranmere had a decent record at sjp prior to that one with both sides playing good stuff. I just thought we wanted it more and we were ultimately more clinical.

From a Tranmere fan’s perspective, I hope the upcoming encounter has a completely different result. How do you see the game panning out?

I’m not going to lie. I would love a repeat of the game at sjp but we know Tranmere are very strong at home and will be hungry following Wednesday’s draw and the Wembley defeat on Sunday. Both sides are in decent form of late and from what I’ve seen thus far both have been very attack heavy so I’m hoping that it’ll be an open game. To be honest, I can see it going one way in a win for the SWA given we haven’t won at Prenton Park for 6 years.

What eleven do you think the visiting gaffer will select?

Matt usually likes to keep us guessing on the team selection, he’ll set up with either 532 or 442 formation though.

Thoughts on Tranmere? The club in general.

Tranmere are a very good team, who are usually well organised and very hard to break down. They’re also somewhat of a big fish In the lower leagues with great support and have just gone from strength to strength this campaign and are my favourites for promotion.

The Rovers and the Grecians are both aiming for promotion this season and the business done in the January transfer window may prove pivotal to this. Thoughts on Exeter’s winter transfers? Sam Stubbs was one of the names brought in.

January was a very quiet window with Sam Stubbs a much needed signing as we’ve struggled defensively throughout the season, but I think we’ll see more of him next season as he returns from injury soon. However, if he’s anything like his dad I’m sure he’s worth the wait. Jokull Andreasson has been a welcome addition. He’s got a great personality, commands his box well and is a great shot stopper who has a bright future in the game and I really hope he comes back next season. Robbie Willmot joined on deadline day from Newport, he’s looked impressive so far.

Jake Caprice, one of Tranmere’s promotion winners from this league in 2019, now plays his football at St James Park. What’s he been like since his arrival?

Caprice has been in out of the side and if I’m honest he’s been hit and miss. There has been times that he’s looked promising though, hopefully he improves and turns into the player I think he can be on a regular basis.

Thank you very much for reading,

Rovers need to win this game but it’ll be very closely contested,

Stay safe,

Ethan Hoijord

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