, a graduate of the Centre Of Excellence, made his competitive debut for the Grecians at Hillsborough of all places in May 2011 just weeks after signing a professional deal with the club.
Described as 'an all-round striker and an all-round player' by manager Paul Tisdale, Nichols has been with the club since the Under 11 age group and was a regular feature in the totesport.com combination reserve league during the 2010/11 campaign.
He made his City bow as a half-time replacement for Bertie Cozic and was replaced by Tisdale of all people with just a minute remaining of City's 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. Quite a debut.
Nichols had been on the bench the previous week for the Devon derby with Plymouth Argyle and he didn't have to wait long to make an impact in the first team, scoring the winning goal the day before his 18th birthday and by October 2011 he had made nine appearances in the 2011/12 campaign.
He spent the start of the 2012/13 campaign on loan at Hereford but was recalled on the eve of City's 3-2 win over Wycombe and came on as an 82nd minute sub.