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Ecstatic Exeter scale the heights

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Paul Fletcher | 21:30 UK time, Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield.

Ever heard of the V10 project? Neither had I until recently.

It might sound like a bit like a plot by a mad scientist to create a rocket of incredibly destructive power but in reality the V10 landed to joyous celebration at The Don Valley Stadium on Saturday as Exeter were promoted to League One.

Launched at the start of 2006, it was a bold plan by the Devon club to reach the third tier of English football by 2010.

Back then Exeter were a non-league club that had only just become solvent after years of hard work by the Supporters' Trust to clear all its debts. League One looked a long, long way away.

Fast forward to 2 May 2009 and 2,454 magnificent Grecians supporters saw the dream become reality as Exeter clinched the second automatic promotion place in League Two with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Rotherham, in the process completing back-to-back promotions.

Substitute Richard Logan scored the decisive goal in the 71st minute with a looping header. It was rich vindication of manager Paul Tisdale's bold substitution minutes earlier in introducing Logan and fellow striker Craig McAllister when the game appeared to be ever so slightly slipping away from his team.

The goal sparked mass celebrations among the away support and, drenched in the late afternoon sunlight, plenty of supporters engaged in an end-of-season pitch invasion shortly after the final whistle.

However, as Rotherham play their home games at an athletics stadium in Sheffield very few supporters made it the substantial distance across the running track and on to the pitch. But history is often written in unusual places and they didn't care a jot that their celebrations took place in one of football's more unlikely venues.

They had travelled almost 250 miles from Devon desperate to see their team clinch promotion and their efforts had been rewarded.

Driving up the M1 from London in the morning I saw plenty of cars decked in red and white, while a good two hours before kick-off hundreds of Exeter fans were in The Cocked Hand and Fara's across the road from the stadium sampling the atmosphere and plenty more besides.

Chatting to a few of them before the game I got the impression that they still could not quite comprehend the speed of their club's ascent.

One of them, Hubert Fernbank, will be 90 in 12 day's time and must have seen it all in his time. He uses a walking stick now and his hearing isn't quite what it used to be. Nonetheless he had made the long journey up on the supporters' coach determined to be there when his club sealed promotion. If I ever reach that mighty age I hope that I still have his enthusiasm for the team that I support.

Exeter's triumph is truly an example of the mouse that roared and should provide hope and encouragement for a whole host of clubs that have experienced a downturn in fortune and the cash problems that have blighted so many.

They have shown what a supporters' trust can achieve when it is properly run with a coherent strategy in place - and furthermore in reaching League One they have proved that you don't need to be cash rich to have ambition and then go out and realise it.

I sat next to an Exeter fan at the game who could not recall the club laying out a transfer fee for any of their players - perhaps £10,000 for Matt Gill - while seven of the players that started against Rotherham were in the team that won last season's Blue Square Premier play-off final against Cambridge United.

Speak to Exeter's supporters and a theme they return to again and again is the attractive, passing football that their team play, with the ball spending most of the game on the ground, and I was impressed by the willingness of their attacking players to take on their opponents, to bring the game to life with a dribble or a piece of skill.

It was never going to be an easy task against Rotherham, who had picked up as many points as the Grecians going into the game and would also have been hoping to win promotion had they not started the season on minus 17. Mark Robins, a former team-mate of Tisdale's at Panionos in Greece, should be applauded for the good job he has done this season.

Exeter had a little more snap, crackle and pop to their tackles although they could easily have been trailing at the break but for the intervention of the crossbar and a goal-line clearance from Troy Archibold-Henville.

The Millers continued to press after the interval before Tisdale's intervention turned the match in his team's favour.

Tisdale is most definitely one to watch and Exeter's director of football Steve Perryman admitted afterwards that securing promotion certainly would not do his club any harm in terms of keeping hold of the manger's services.

The 36-year-old started his coaching career as head coach at Team Bath. In his time there the club won four promotions in seven seasons and reached the first round of the FA Cup. He moved to Exeter in June 2006 and has won two promotions in three seasons after a defeat in the Conference play-off final at the end of his first campaign.

I spoke to him earlier in the week and was impressed by both his level-headed approach and the care with which he selected his words. At first he did not want to say too much in case he said anything that might come back to haunt him. Only when I assured him that I wouldn't be publishing anything until after Saturday's game did he start to open up.

He described this season as a "trip into the unknown" and explained that he had focused a lot of his energy on developing individual players, hoping that by logical extension it would improve the team as a whole.

Before Exeter left their team hotel prior to Saturday's game Tisdale told his players that he could only guarantee two things - a coach journey to the stadium and another one home afterwards. What happened in between was up to them but, with Bury lurking just one place below them in the table, he told them they must go out to win the game.

It is all a far cry from the end of season in 2003, when Exeter were relegated from the Football League on the final day of the season. The club were in dire straits and the Exeter City Supporters' Trust became the majority shareholders shortly afterwards.

One fan told me that hitting rock bottom and starting over again was the best thing that could have happened. You could hear the pride in his voice and there is definitely a real sense of togetherness and community at Exeter City. Local lad Dean Moxey, a regular in the side, was lost for words after the victory.

In achieving promotion to League One a year ahead of schedule the club has now drawn up a revised plan to take the Exeter forward. They are looking for a new chairman and hope to develop the stadium.

Next season clubs such as Charlton, Southampton and possibly Norwich will be visiting St James' Park. The aforementioned are used to heading north when a stadium with that name is mentioned. Not anymore.


  • Comment number 1.

    Nice piece, and what a fantastic day for Exeter, with our usual magnificent support. Unfortunately you have got our manager's name wrong, though : It is Paul - not Steve - Tisdale. Once again he got his selection policy and substitutions spot on, and not the least reason for our brilliant last few weeks' run was the re-introduction of Ryan Harley to the side. He hasn' t got much pace, can' t tackle particularly well but is pure class on the ball.

  • Comment number 2.

    Yeah, what a fantastic day for the club. I still can't quite beleive we'll be going to Charlton and Leeds next year when it was Farsley Celtic and Leigh RMI just a few short years ago. I don't mind admitting I had a small tear in my eye this afternoon! Make sure you learn the name PAUL Tisdale though - you'll be hearing more of it!

  • Comment number 3.

    I live in the United States as an Exeter Ex pat. I was so excited with the way the supporters managed and re built the club and last years promotion was great validation of the effort and passion they put in. This year is a dream and I hope the whole management team, on an off the field keep a level head and continue to build the success of the club. Very well done from six hours behind on GMT.

  • Comment number 4.

    WOOO HOO! Am an MUFC fan living in Exeter but do keep half an eye on City so congrats! :)

  • Comment number 5.

    It's great to see Exeter continue their rise through the league, always better to see different teams go up and down rather than the usual suspects each season. Best of luck next season (apart from the trip to the Withdean!), here's hoping for a good future ahead of you!

  • Comment number 6.

    Who is Steve Tisdale!?!?!!?!

    If you're going to write an article praising someone - surely the LEAST you can do is get their name right!

  • Comment number 7.

    On a broader note, it just shows how strong the Conference/Blue SQ is with the quality of sides that they bring up. I can't remember the last promoted Conference side to get relegated from League 2? It's also rare a relegated League 2 side come straight back up?

    Also, I think there is a strong argument to reduce the amount of promotion/relegation spots in the other football leagues. I know it makes leagues more exciting but you just have to look at the points deductions the Football League have dished out. Clubs often spend beyond their means to strive off relegation or to chase a prayer of a play-off spot. When they fail they soon go into freefall.

    Leagues need more stability; and with fewer (and in theory better quality) sides going up it would give them a better chance of staying in the league they promote to by having fewer relegation places.

    Would Exeter be where they are today if they had promoted a few seasons earlier with easier promotion from the Conference? Yeovil and Carlisle are two former Conference clubs that spring to mind that are doing relatively well.

  • Comment number 8.

    When Exeter left the football league in 2003 it was because my team, Swansea City, won their last game and sent the Grecians down. We've headed steadily upward then and it's good to see our friends from Devon moving in the right direction again - well done and good luck next season.

  • Comment number 9.

    Excellent article (apart from getting the name of our manager wrong). Its great to see pundits and the media start to take an interest in us after the wilderness years. I can't wait for next season and im sure that if we can hold onto Tisdale we will be ok in this league.

  • Comment number 10.

    French based Grecian comment.....The French just look at the shirt or crest then begin to ask questions......My head is held high and no longer under the threat of the guillotine.......

    The white_ensign and great white continue to fly and swim to even newer heights

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm a Blackburn fan living as a student in Exeter at the moment - just across the road from St James Park in fact. I've been to see a few games there and have been really impressed at the commitment the players show in their play - and the attractive passing game you mentioned too.

    Thrilled for all the fans down here - they deserve good things after the bad times that have gone before. Unbelievable that just a couple of seasons ago Charlton were four leagues above Exeter; now they're equals. Good work Grecians!

  • Comment number 12.

    Of course the best news for Exeter is that they get another trip to Adams Park...

    Seriously, Exeter should be very proud of there routes, we (Wycombe) have a very similiar history of non-league and rather than be forgotten it should be embraced.

    Still, lets see who comes out on top between us next season

  • Comment number 13.

    Sorry, sorry, sorry. I'm kicking myself here. I know full well that Exeter's manager is called Paul Tisdale. I interviewed him earlier in the week and would have definitely been pulled up if I had called him Steve for 20 minutes. I can only think that several hundred miles on the motorway plus the excitement of watching a team clinch promotion melted my brain!

    Well done Exeter.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'd like to learn more about what Exeter did right than the usual cliches. Planning, commitment, etc. Great. What does it mean?

  • Comment number 15.

    "Next season clubs such as Charlton, Southampton and possibly Norwich will be visiting St James' Park. The aforementioned are used to heading north when a stadium with that name is mentioned. Not anymore."

    Good finish to a good post. It really is what football is all about when clubs like Exeter and AFC Wimbledon achieve success, even if success is relative.

  • Comment number 16.

    It's PAUL TISDALE! Not Steve!

  • Comment number 17.

    Well done Exeter management ,team and especially the fans, a totally inspirational piece Paul , this guy Tisdale sounds like a wonder manager all those promotions before Exeter and now consecutive ones with them !!!Anyway all the best next season and again well done on a dramatic last day win , I'm a PNE fan and the nerves will be jangling today as we meet QPR , need to win and Burnley or Cardiff need to slip up for Playoffs !

  • Comment number 18.

    Congrats City! I was at TeamBath with Tis', he obviously did an awesome job and so pleased he is making it work down there!

    Oh, maybe I've missed it, but it only seems to mention 'Steve' when referring to Perryman..not Tis?! Go easy on Mr Fletcher as I think a few bloggers have got it wrong!

  • Comment number 19.

    City fan suffering from motorway lag, hangover and struggling to let it all sink in.

    On a personal note, it's been an amazing week. This time last week I was lining up for the start of the London Marathon, then I became an Uncle, and now this.

    Don Valley is an odd place, but safe to say it will hold a place in the hearts of all those thousands of travelling Grecians fans for a long time.

    More about the club. The "ambitious" V10 project has actually been achieved a year ahead of schedule. How have we got there??? Well it's not all glorious. The CVA we were forced to enter due to the previous administration and their fraudulent ways, left many companies recieving no more than 10% of what we owed them. This is not something that we are proud of, but no doubt, any business who wanted to survive would do the same. We then got the "Golden ticket" of the FA Cup tie against Man Utd and that ensured our survival.

    The real story begins with the appointment of Steve Perryman, who has had his critics as Director of Football but his connections and shrewd negotiations have ensured we've not let our prized assets go cheaply and have bought in some excellent talent when the manager has specified it. Much of his work has been voluntary receiving pay only for his expenses (not sure that's still the case).

    Paul Tisdale came in as an unknown, with a few sceptics in the club wanting to hang him out to dry before he'd started. He now has every single Grecian convinced that he is the greatest manager the club have ever had. His signings are shrewd, he has an excellent relationship with the board and the Perryman, he thinks long term in his decisions and so far, he has made the right decisions.

    As for the board and the Trust, we have been careful and prudent with our spending, and have eeked every last resource from the club to try and ensure we make the most of every possible revenue stream, and the Trust is now stepping back from financing the club and the club is becoming self sufficient. We are quite possibly the only club in the league who have a sensible wage budget and more amazingly, the payroll is actually within budget.

    I think the story behind the club success is "BIGGER PICTURE". We employed Paul Tisdale because of his long term outlook for the club, we have come so close to extinction that we prize the existence of our club so much more, we would prefer to see a steady recovery on the pitch and know that our club is safe, rather than gamble the safety of the club on short term success which has seen so many clubs suffer.

    Paul Tisdale's brilliant management and the hard work of the squad who have shown committment, bravery, skill, nerve and pride, has merely accellerated the on the pitch success.

    After some truly dark years for the club, we truly can enjoy our moment in the sun and fully intend to.

  • Comment number 20.

    Congratulations Exeter City, from a Stoke City supporter.

    A tremendous achievement in sealing two consecutive promotions. I was in the south west recently when you hosted our local rivals, Port Vale. I took the opportunity to visit St. James Park for the first time and to get behind the Grecians. It was a very enjoyable night, bringing back memories of the old vic; standing on the terraces after paying on the turnstiles. Football wise, you completely outplayed the Vale with 10 men.

    Once again, Congratulations. Some wise additions and who knows next season...? The club has a winning mentality running through it nicely right now, that momentum will be as strong as ever come the start of next season. All the best, and enjoy.

  • Comment number 21.

    Lazy Sunday morning waking in a daze as I try to work out who I am, what I am doing and what day it is, I suddenly get a flash back shout out oh my god were up .
    Then a horrible thought, was that a dream or is this real? now more awake and having woke she who must be obeyed, my thoughts return to sitting in my garden city shirt and scarf on, listening to the match on the radio, Logan had just scored and I was on my knees crying my eyes out like a child with sheer delight.
    The next 20 mins were sheer hell and delight all rolled together as we missed the pen, Notts county scored, Bury had a pen and Rotherham tried to press, Then I can just recall listening to the radio while watching sky sports and it came over we had won the game, clinched second place and I was watching the fans running on to the pitch via sky sports through tears of sheer delight.

    I am 47, been watching city since I was 4, first big game was the first encounter with Man u, seen city away all over the country and the biggest game of the clubs history I missed.

    I am sat here still pinching myself, wishing my late Dad could have seen this day as he was a City fanatic, I feel totally emotional and just want to say simply thank you to Paul and the whole squad for making our Club something we can all be proud of and I want to say a massive thank you to all the fans who I believe make the club what it is today, THE PRIDE OF DEVON.

    Thank you ECFC for making today what it is, you have to be a fan to know what I am talking about.

    Have a great summer and see you all at the park in Division 1 next season.

  • Comment number 22.

    what about more on the massive 0-0 draw at Manchester United away and the home draw defeat, when we were non league. This helped us get back on out feet with the revenue that it generated for us..

    Well Done Team.....Proud as ever....

  • Comment number 23.

    Here pal, his names Paul not Steve.

  • Comment number 24.

    As a Torquay supporter I sit here with some jealously I admit, but I have to say they have done a great job this season especially the manager. It doesn't seem that long ago that a number of ECFC supporters were calling for his head when things weren't going right at the start of last season but it just goes to show that keeping the faith with the manager works. Last season you were 20 minutes from going out of the play off semi finals before that 'terrible turnaround' at Plainmoor and now you have achieved this. It gives supporters of all other clubs that have dropped out of the league real hope and shows what can be achieved. I will never be a supporter of Exeter City but what I do have is respect for them in what they have achieved in the last few months and the way they achieved it. Hopefully two weeks today Torquay will achieve our aims and Devon will have two promotions in the same year. Congratulations City and enjoy your truimph.

  • Comment number 25.

    By the time I read this, the text said Paul Tisdale, which made the following posts very confusing. I assume that you'd already altered it.
    Don't beat yourself up, you'd also mentioned Steve Perryman in the article so it was obviously a typo.
    I knew nothing about Exeter until a few weeks ago but I've been reading about Mr Tisdale, his career and Exeter's style of football and I was hoping that they would make it.
    It'll be interesting to see what he can achieve next season, if Exeter can keep him. The fact that he stayed seven years with Team Bath offers some hope there.
    Well done, Exeter!

  • Comment number 26.

    As a fan of Exeter's local rivals Torquay, I would like to say genuine congratulations to them, they've done a very good job. They're an excellent footballing team. We played them in the play-off semi's last season, beat them 3-1 away, then they came back and otplayed us at home and won 4-1. I hope they can continue to play well next season and at least stay up, if not better.
    As a Torquay fan I just hope we can win the play-offs in the Blue Square this season and hopefully do something similar next season.
    And as someone who sympathises for Luton's plight, I hope Exeter's situation inspires them and they can turn it round and get back into the league where they deserve to be.

  • Comment number 27.

    So there we were freezing cold at Leigh RMI having to do a couple of laps of the ground to keep warm and watching City play on a bumpy pitch, thinking why have they put gravy on our chips? A Northern habit.
    The game was tough for Exeter but they came through with a Sean Devine strike in the 2nd half. How things have changed.
    At the Don Valley yesterday something amazing happened when Logan headed home and Exeter leapt into another division. Cracking stuff, and now for a hot summer based on the promise of new grounds, new opponents and larger crowds.
    Thanks Paul, great.

  • Comment number 28.

    I have been away from Exeter for many years but was there when we got promoted in 89/90 and played Norwich who were Div 1 at the time. Great to see small town club, run by the fans doing so well.

  • Comment number 29.

    Congradulations Exeter, I used to go to university in Exmouth and caught a couple of games while I was there. Look forward to seeing you at the Mem next year.

  • Comment number 30.

    This is so wrong. Exeter epitomise every thing that is wrong with Football in this day and age. Years of mis-management and massive overspending, including building a brand new stand they could not afford,got the club into massive debt. A debt that was never paid, a quick iva and administration in which they paid their debtors a miserly 10p in the £1 and they have a clean slate. Then a lucky cup draw against Man Utd and suddenly they are rolling in money, whilst the creditors still only had their 10p in the £1 to console themselves. They also have the benefit of the new stand at their stadium which generates income yet they never actually paid for it. Exeter should have been allowed to die and been made to reforme in the lower reaches of non-league like teams such as Accrington Stanley and Aldershot.

    Rarely has a club been less deserving than Exeter but hey are not the forst and I doubt they will be the last. Two other businesses were forced out of business immediately after Exeter paid their 10p in the £1. It is all so wrong. Fletch you have no morals.

  • Comment number 31.

    Welcome. Yeovil will be waiting in anticipation of a new derby match.

  • Comment number 32.

    Hello. A Shakers fan here.

    Congratulations to Exeter City on their promotion. They play football the right way, have an excellent Director of Football and a very, very good young manager. Of course, we at Gigg Lane are disappointed that we didn't quite make it by the narrowest of margins but, hey, that's football. We look forward to the play-off games v Shresbury and the chance of going up at Wembley and facing Exeter again next term. Congratulations once again to the Grecians.

  • Comment number 33.

    As a born and bred Exonian who has lived and worked away from Exeter since 1984 but have always followed the Grecians fortunes from whichever part of the world I happened to be in, I would like to say:


    Now settled and working since 1999 in Redditch, Worcestershire, this was one Midlands household that cracked open a couple of Ciders on Saturday night !

    We now need to:

    1. Keep Paul Tisdale

    2. Strengthen the squad @ keep the key players we already have

    3. Start improvements on the Old Grandstand @ away end of the ground


  • Comment number 34.

    Well Done Exeter!

    Hopefully the Cherries will be back up in Lge 1 too next year!!!

    P.S Thanks for letting us have the 3-1 a few weeks ago...funny old game eh..

  • Comment number 35.

    Mr Tisdale for southampton???? , i hope not,he has achieved a major tick on his cv , 7 years at team bath would indicate to most that he maybe around for a while at the park, if he left he`d still have the keys to the city without question.

    Ive never doubted that he`d be a decent manager for us his approach,attention to detail and man management style suggests he will be a winner , how many other managers go to all of the away games to get a feel for the ground and the postion of the away section?

    Also what other managers come into the away end before the match to have a chat about the journey up and to thank people for making the effort? , Paul did this at Rushden and diamonds last season in the blue square at 2.30pm , that speaks volumes for the man.

    My last game before L.A was away at Chesterfield we lost 2-1 people were raising eyebrows all around me,that defeat i put down to hard away games before that fixture,i had everything crossed for the play offs - how wrong was i.

    Everyone involved with Exeter deserves a huge pat on the back this achievement cannot be under estimated , one point above the drop zone will do me next season , my Exeter scarf is stretched across the back window of my car and will be until the fixtures come out , god knows what the people of L.A think it means, i look at it and punch the air with delight.

    Im very proud and very jealous of those running onto the track at the don valley to shake the hands of the players and staff - wish id been there.

    Im rambling now,enough said.

  • Comment number 36.

    As a Bury fan, the events of the last game of the season are hard to take (although the previous 45 games were generally pretty amazing) but Exeter did their job and well done to them.

    I wish them all the success in league one next season. There's some huge clubs in that league in 2009/10 and it will be really exciting for their fans. I really hope we can join them through the playoffs!

    Well played Grecians.

  • Comment number 37.

    This is the season that my 9 year old son really started to get into his football. Its brilliant to be able share the promotion with him. Well done Grecians and we'll be right behind you again next season. One of the best places to be on a Saturday afternoon is on The Big Bank.

    Must make a special mention of Dean Moxey, well deserved captain towards the end of the season and always has time for the fans (not that the rest of the squad don't but you know what I mean).

    oo arr we are Exeter.

  • Comment number 38.


    If you are so up on the history of Exeter City FC you would know that the club was more-or-less forced to develop the ground after the Taylor report on English football stadia was published... and as the new stands hold fewer people than the old ones, your assertion that they are generating income for the ground is wrong.

    Yes, Exeter got a windfall from the ManU game that helped them to exit the CVA - but they are not rolling in cash and, in fact, exiting the CVA did not mean debt free. Even after exiting the CVA, the club was some £1m in debt which was not included in the CVA (football creditors etc). The difference this time is that the debt is well managed and being repaid (last summer it was down to some £300k) - so, again, you are wrong.

    Few, if any, City fans are proud of the management regimes that got us into debt and into problems off the field, particularly for the difficulties it brought to others - but as in all similar cases, players and fans are the life of the club yet it was the Board and management who almost killed it. Unfortunately, Boards and directors can come and go, often with no real affiliation to the club, but their stain remains. I doubt that any of the current management (on or off the field) or players at ECFC have anything to do with those who allowed the debt to grow in the 90s and early 2000s (esp, remember, the two who were arrested for suspected fraud and financial deception, of which the club was a loser) so please don't label the current club with their sins.

    Sadly, as with all things that take several years to resolve, often by the time right is able to be restored, things have changed so much that those who would pay the price are not the ones who committed the wrong.

    Yes, some clubs like Aldershot were unlucky and had to completely reform - others, like City, were lucky and didn't. At the end of the day, administration is a legitimate legal process for allowing business to continue existing and countless businesses use it year-in year-out outside of the football world to enable them to carry on trading. You seem to forget that had City gone bust completely, then their creditors wouldn't have even received the "10p in the £1" that they did get.

    Finally, can you really tell me that if the Board of your club got into debt and had to go into administration, would you actually prefer them to start again as a NewClub somewhere in the lower echelons of non-league football? Or would you prefer the owners (old or new) to do everything within the law and their power to keep the club going and competing as high up the pyramid as they can?

    Exeter fans are no more and no less deserving of success or failure than any other club from the top of the PL to the grassroots level. Why sour this great moment in the clubs history with such negativity (and inaccuracy)? ECFC, as a fan-owned and run club, is now one of the best models of a successfully run football club business who are having success on the field too. Long may it continue and may many more clubs go the same way (hopefully avoiding the painful route ECFC had to go to get there).

  • Comment number 39.

    cider cider ciderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!

  • Comment number 40.

    im a Leeds fan living in canada but also a exeter fan as i use to live in north devon i am so overjoyed that they won promotion i hope i get a double through Leeds but who do i cheer for when or if they play each other 2 draws would be ok... its nice exeter are getting the fans back are you watching argyle

  • Comment number 41.

    As a Brentford fan who grew up just down the road from Wycombe and now lives just down the A38 from Exeter, I'd just like to congratulate all of those associated with the Bees, Chairboys and Grecians!

    I'd also agree whole-heartedly with Grecian_Jeff that fan ownership is the way forward. It sowed the seeds of stability at Brentford, and (under a good manager) these seeds are now flourishing.

  • Comment number 42.

    Am very prouud to be a city fan...........cant wait for the parade through the high street on Saturday..........hopefully Tis can spend some money next season and keep us in league one........he is definately he best manager i have known at Exeter..........we'll be lucky to keep hold of him.

  • Comment number 43.

    Writing as a long-time, albeit now distant (well, Berkshire), City supporter since university days 1963-1966, congratulations to the team, management, supporters and trust members and all involved in the club's brilliant success this season. It's also been great to read all the comments on this blog and be reminded of Alan Banks, Dermot Curtis, Cec Smythe, Arnold Mitchell and other great names from 'my' era. Impressed by how longstanding ('enduring', perhaps) and widely spread the City fans are.

  • Comment number 44.

    The best of luck for next season Exeter! To all the people who wrote us off, think carefully about what you say next time. A well deserved promotion, quite unpredicted half a decade ago. Who's to say that we can't go one step better next season and meet are old foes, Plymouth Argyle. Bring it on.

  • Comment number 45.

    Many congratulations to Exeter, and for that matter Torquay.
    Double Devon Promotion !!!!
    All power to the South West


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