Youngster eyeing another scalp on Tuesday
It would be fair to say that Matt Jay had an eventful 2013.
Some supporters might have noticed his name a few times on the score-sheet in under-18 match reports last season, when he was still a first-year scholar. Hardcore travellers that visited Weston-super-Mare and Chippenham in pre-season would have had first glimpses of Jay mingling with the first team.
And this season, it has been a knock-out competition that has furthered a knock-out 12 months for Jay – he has been a key component in the side’s progress in the Under-21 Premier League Cup. City face Blackburn Rovers at St James Park this Tuesday (kick-off 7pm) with a place in the quarter-final of the nationwide competition up for grabs.
The Grecians have already upset all the odds with victories against Torquay, Crystal Palace and Southampton to reach the Round of 16, so Jay and his fellow City youngsters have every reason to be confident in their chances against the Lancashire side.
“It’s good to have a new competition like the Under-21 Premier League Cup for that age group,” Jay says. “It’s a step-up from what already exists at under-18 level.
“What we’ve been able to do just shows that you don’t have to have loads of money, and everything that goes along with it, to achieve things. All you need is good players that have good attitudes and a good work-rate, and you can do well off the back of it.
“All the boys are thinking that we can really make something happen against Blackburn if we put our all into it and play as we have been. I think it’ll be a good test – let’s hope that we can get a result. Challenges always bring the best out of all of us, and that has shown in the games that we’ve played in.”
The full interview with youngster Matt Jay will be in Saturday’s issue of The Grecian, our matchday programme, which will be on sale around St James Park at the price of £3 at our game against Mansfield Town.
Matt discusses the side’s progress in the Under-21 Premier League Cup and the St Luke’s Bowl, topping the table with the under-18 side, growing up in the Exeter City Academy, and role-models on his doorstep.
Click here for ticketing and other information about the Under-21 Premier League Cup tie against Blackburn.