City manager responds to duo’s international call-upExeter City boss Paul Tisdale felt that Matt Grimes and Christy Pym’s call-up to the England Under-20 squad is a big fillip to the club as a whole.
The pair, who graduated from the Academy a year ago, have been selected by Aidy Boothroyd to join up with the Young Lions at St George’s Park ahead of the friendly fixture against Romania on Saturday 6th September.
Exeter’s youngsters caught the imagination of the wider football-supporting public last season with a charge to the quarter-final of the Under-21 Premier League Cup, where Pym and Grimes were heavily involved.
And the City manager felt that a combination of factors have contributed to their international selection – no less their own hard work and determination to succeed.
“It’s big news for the boys and big news for the club,” said the City boss. “It’s big news for the area really because it doesn’t happen too often in Exeter.
“Even if we have players with talent they’re often overlooked, so well done to the England set-up and Aidy Boothroyd for having considered our players.
“There’s been no secret that we’ve got a growing reputation for our young players, enhanced by last year’s Under-21 Premier League Cup quarter-final. If there was any doubt that our players are capable of competing, it was dispelled last year.
“We’ve got a lot of young players coming through – a part of that is circumstance, a part of that is the will to give them the opportunity, and then lastly but by no means least they’ve got to achieve a level of performance which gets them selected. And they’ve both done that, so well done to them.”
City’s policy of youth has been well-touted in Exeter, but the City manager was appreciative that this had been recognised more widely too. In particular, it represents a break from the norm by choosing players that are already playing competitively on a regular basis for their club teams, rather than prospects from bigger clubs.
And he backed his young charges to make an impact and show their capabilities when they rub shoulders with players from the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.
“It’s nice to have confirmation that it’s not just us saying it, and that someone neutral to the club and not associated with the club has made that decision and confirmed that we have got talent here,” he continued.
“It will be very interesting to see how the boys cope with their surroundings, because your normal players that are selected tend to be from the Premier League clubs and their under-21 teams.
“This is a very different type of selection – it’s players that are playing League football week-in, week-out with the cut and thrust of competitive football.
“It’ll be interesting to see how they fare and I think they’ll do very well.”