Exeter-born centre-forward Dean Billingsley joined the Exeter City Academy at the age of 14. The second-year scholar is characterised by his hard-working nature and his competitive and physical approach to football, and continues to improve his technical and tactical understanding of the game.
An all-rounder in the centre of midfield, Alex Byrne is a prime example of the success of the player progression pathway at the Exeter City Academy. From North Devon, the left-footed second-year scholar began at the Barnstaple Advanced Development Centre at under-9 level, before being brought into the Academy at under-11 where he has continued to progress through the youth ranks. Byrne featured for the first-team in pre-season ahead of the 2014/15 season, playing against Reading, Swansea and Torquay.
Joe Charles, who hails from Ilminster, was one of two youngsters to join the Academy at the Cat & Fiddle upon the closure of the Yeovil Academy. The winger had been on the books with the Glovers until under-15 level before joining the Grecians. Considerable pace is one of the biggest assets that the second-year scholar has, and he impressed particularly in a youth game against Liverpool, as well as scoring against Man City in a friendly at St James Park at the start of the 2013/14 season.
Second-year scholar Cameron Gill, who has manned the forward line for City’s youth teams since under-9 level, was first spotted where he impressed at a 6-a-side tournament. The striker, originally from Newton Abbot, prides himself on his finishing as well as being a good technical footballer that has the ability to pull the strings with his link-up play.
Spotted at Twyford 6-a-side tournament as an under-8, Jamie Harkness was invited to join the Exeter City Academy at the Cat & Fiddle where he has been ever since. His key proficiency in the centre of midfield is as a holding player that can link the play. He became a first-year scholar for the 2013/14 season, after having endured a frustrating year as an under-16 where injuries had hampered his development.
Second-year scholar Charlie Madden hails from Newton Abbot and joined the Academy as an under-9. He scored a noteworthy goal in the under-18s’ friendly clash early in the 2013/14 season against Manchester City in order to secure a draw for the Grecians. Despite being known for his size and stature as defender, Charlie is also useful at the other end of the field too, as he is confident both on the ball and in the box.
Bath-based defender Josh Read spent his early Academy years at Yeovil Town before being brought into the Exeter City setup at under-16 level. Read is recognised not only for his physical stature, but also for his excellent attitude. The second-year scholar’s development was hampered latterly somewhat by injury during his first season with the under-18s.