City manager commends Exiles’ promotion achievement
Newport County AFC will bring a team in their latest incarnation to St James Park on Saturday for the 3pm kick-off, the first time since 1987 – and City boss Paul Tisdale commended their efforts in dragging the team back into the Football League.
The Exiles were reformed in 1989 (when indeed they adopted their nickname, as they weren’t allowed to play on their old site at Somerton Park due to unpaid rent from the defunct club) and were entered into the Hellenic League.
Having had to withdraw from the Football Conference midway through the 1989/90 season, the new side have risen through the divisions – including a Hellenic double in their maiden season – and had to climb four rungs on the ladder to reach the League.
The latest promotion came via the play-off final against fellow Welsh outfit Wrexham last season, and the Grecians boss commended the achievement.
“It’s not easy, we know that,” said Tis of the Exiles’ promotion last year. “The Conference is a tough league to get out of and then you need to find your feet very quickly.
“They have an experienced football man in Justin Edinburgh and they have some good players – I think they’ve done extremely well and it shows what can happen over four or five years of having continuity amongst their staff.
“They have achieved something which has eluded many teams, which is promotion into the Football League.”
And while the teams haven’t clashed at the Park for over 26 years, Tis feels that he can prepare for the fixture through their knowledge of their current crop and their start to the season.
“We know most of the Newport players individually,” continued Tis. “Obviously we know Billy Jones and Lenny Pidgeley – we’ve known a lot of their players at other times, and we also know Justin Edinburgh and Jimmy Dack.
“I think we’ve got a feel for their team. We’ve not played them for a long time and there’s no particular recent history with them, but I think we’ve got enough knowledge over this first seven games of the season that we should know what to expect.”
The home fans have been treated to some good performances and results in the Sky Bet League 2 season so far at the Park, and Tis is calling on another great atmosphere against to set the tone to maintain the 100 per cent record.
Newport have already sold in excess of 700 tickets to travelling fans, meaning that the Exiles will be well represented in the Away Terrace. Tis is hopeful that the home support will continue to turn out in force after some good turnouts so far this term.
“I’m hoping we get a good crowd – the opening game of the season against Bristol Rovers was a very good crowd and I’m hoping we get somewhere close to it.
“They’ve sold a lot of tickets – it’s a game that isn’t too far for Newport, and this will be an interesting game for their supporters.
“It is football weather, we’ve had a good start to the season and Newport are doing particularly well – I’m hoping that it’s going to be a really enjoyable afternoon.”
Tickets are on sale to Exeter City supporters in advance of the fixture to buy from Reception at St James Park or online by clicking here. Exeter supporters will also be able to buy on the day of the game from the Ticket Booths around the ground or upon entry to the Big Bank.