City boss delighted to retain Oakley
Paul Tisdale spoke of his delight in keeping veteran midfielder Matt Oakley at St James Park, and paid tribute to the qualities that he brings both on and off the pitch.
The midfielder was patient with the Grecians to allow the club to find the resource to offer him a deal, and now he has committed to another season wearing City colours. The Exeter gaffer spoke of his pleasure at retaining someone that will benefit the club on a number of different strata.
“I’m very respectful of the fact that he’s waited for us to get in a position where we can [offer him a contract]; it says a lot about him,” said Tis.
“So I’m really pleased with that. He’s going to be a fundamental part of the development of our younger players, and of course he has a large part to play on the pitch too. One of the major reasons we faltered on the pitch at the end of last season was because of his injury.”
Oakley’s untimely injury last March came during a period when the Grecians were flying high in League 2, with the midfielder showing some of his vintage form by pulling the strings from the centre of the park. And while Tis is pleased to be able to call upon his assets on the field once more, he is also looking forward to having him on the training ground and in the dressing room again.
Tis added: “We’ve always had someone of his ilk, be it Rob Edwards or Marcus Stewart for example – players that have added great value. He’s another one of them.
“He brings seniority and understanding of the game as we prefer to play it. It keeps continuity and a rationale through our philosophy, and he matches it – he wouldn’t fit every club and not every player suits us, but Matt suits our club.
“On the pitch he brings the ability to see and read the game quicker than most, if not all. He reads the game very quickly, which is not tangible in statistics but it certainly is tangible in the ebb and flow of the game.
“Off the pitch, he brings a very good understanding of how the dressing room works – he’s been the captain at a lot of the clubs he’s been at before, so he’s a really good influence.”