City boss calling on experienced pros to guide the team
With the departure of four senior squad players confirmed this summer, Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale feels that some of the other experienced squad members can pick up the mantle and be the driving force behind an otherwise-youthful team in 2013/14.
Tis confirmed on Tuesday that a quartet of City players would not be at the club next season, which has instantly decreased the average age of the squad and means plenty of knowhow departs with them. And he feels that some of the players whose careers have been revitalised during their last 12 months with the Grecians can now take the next step and become the most influential characters on and off the pitch.
“The likes of Craig Woodman, Pat Baldwin, Arron Davies, and Tommy Doherty who joined us last season – who had had poor seasons before – had a chance to get going again,” said Tis. “They understand the club, they understand their roles, they’ve played regularly and been trusted.
“They’ve been given the opportunity and have had ups and downs with their performances and have been continually selected. They’re going into a side now where they need to be the ones who drive the performance of the side.
“Liam Sercombe, Scot Bennett and Artur Krysiak are all still at the club and they’re our sort of players – they are of course highly important players. But they haven’t got that experience of the leagues that those other players have.”
There is still a core of experienced players in the team at the moment, but the mean age across the squad as a whole will take a dip – and so those players that have broken into the side from the Academy this season for the first time will in all likelihood become more heavily involved. And Tis is prepared for the inevitable learning-curves that his younger players will have to go through as they are shown the ropes and gain on-the-job experience.
“Danny Coles will still be captain and Alan Gow is still with us, so we have got a nucleus of seven or eight players,” he continued. “But as we’ve seen this year, when we had everyone available back in September and October we had a bench to work with to bring strength onto the pitch. It was a great deal different to recently when we had seven or eight and then nothing backing it up of any experience.
“It’s going to be difficult – we need to keep those players fit, and if we lose three or four of those then we’re going to be guessing a bit. It’s trial and error a bit with new groups, as we saw on Saturday at Chesterfield; we played really well and lost 4-0. We weren’t quite worldly-wise on the pitch, and we were a bit open. You’re going to get the odd game like that.”