Exeter's Paul Tisdale persuaded Matt Oakley to continue playing

Matt Oakley

New Exeter City signing Matt Oakley has revealed that manager Paul Tisdale persuaded him not to retire from professional football this summer.

Oakley originally joined the Grecians on loan from Leicester last season and planned to retire at the end of the campaign, but Tisdale changed his mind.

The 34-year-old midfielder said: "When Paul had the conversation with me this summer, it wasn't in my mind.

"He persuaded me to carry on playing and hopefully I can repay that."

Despite Exeter's recent relegation, Oakley is optimistic that Tisdale's preparations ahead of the new season will help to stabilise the club.

"I think Paul's looked at the mistakes he made last year and he's got experience in the middle of the park which is the spine of your team," Oakley added.

"I've played in successful teams and the spine of your team hold the team together when you are playing well or playing badly."