Training: The Young Family
Midfielder Matt Oakley
has made more than 150 appearances for the Grecians, but he is best-known for a 12-year association with Southampton where he helped the south coast club reach the FA Cup final for only the fourth time in their history.
He made his debut for the Saints in May 1995 under former Grecians manager and World Cup winner Alan Ball when he came on as a second-half substitute against Everton.
He was part of a much-loved and well-remembered Southampton side that included the likes of Francis Benali, Matt Le Tissier, Jim Magilton, Jason Dodd, Claud Lundekvam, Egil Ostendtad, Eyal Berkovic and Anders Svennson. He was part of the team that beat Manchester United 6-3 at the Dell and came up against some tough Premier League midfielder in that time including Patrick Veira and Roy Keane.
He was on the verge of getting in the England side having helped the Saints reach the FA Cup final in 2003, but suffered a serious knee-ligament injury that put paid to those hopes.
He joined Derby in 2006 and helped Billy Davies’ side win promotion to the Premier League. However, following Davies’ departure in January the following year Matt left to join Leicester City. The following season he was named in the PFA Team of the Year as he played 48 games and scored eight goals as Leicester won the League One title.
He played seven games on loan at Exeter City in the 2011/12 season before he joined the club on a permanent basis in the summer of 2012. At the age of 39, Matt remains a valuable and experienced member of the City squad and now splits his playing time with analysis and coaching work at the club.