Tis: “A proper player”

City gaffer hails performance of under-18 forward

Following Matt Jay’s senior debut for the Exeter City first team, manager Paul Tisdale was glowing with praise for the impression that he made on his debut.

The positivity that the forward displayed during his second-half performance from bench against Wycombe Wanderers will have come as little surprise to those that have seen his mercurial displays for the under-18s – and Tis singled out the youngster for praise following his bow.

“I loved Matt Jay – that was a really big plus for the team,” said Tis.  “He came onto the pitch and looked a proper player, and as a 17-year-old that was a big plus for us.

“He is mentally very bright, he is tough beyond his size, and he retains the ball and makes good decisions with it.  There is very little compromise with that and if you can do that, you’ve got a really good chance.  He keeps the ball, retains possession and makes decisions as well as anybody in our group.”

Tis also admitted that he was open-minded about using Jay again, and cited Matt Grimes’ involvement in the first-team in recent weeks as a case in point that players will be selected if they prove their mettle.

The manager also explained that any involvement that he might have in future would not be at the expense of going through the rites of passage at the Academy level, which are a hugely important aspect in any player’s learning curve.

Tis continued: “Matt Grimes has forced himself into contention within seven or eight weeks – I’m open-minded, and that’s what this club is all about.  You get judged on what you do, and what Matt Jay did was excellent.

“We also have to pay respect to the setup – you can be pushed too soon.  It’s about getting the balance right.  He is still a youth team player and he will be treated as a trainee until he has signed a professional contract, which is how it should be.  We will stick to the route through.  But he’s certainly capable.”