Captain reflects on historic occasion at LaranjeirasExeter City’s new captain Scot Bennett feels that the Grecians’ historic game against a Fluminense XI at the Laranjeiras stadium is something that will live long in the memory of the City players.
There was no end of hubbub around the game, which marked it out as a very unordinary occasion compared to what they would usually get at a Sky Bet League 2 game. But for Scot, the pomp and circumstance was all part of a great day to be involved with Exeter City.
“It was all a bit different,” he explained. “We came out and had to stand around while they did the speeches and then have the national anthems played – it was a bit different to what we were used to but it was good for the experience.
“But it was an enjoyable one – I think all the boys enjoyed it and we’ll remember that day for a long time.”
It was Scot’s first game since being confirmed as captain after the pre-season game against Reading at St James Park, and the post-match goings-on were also something to behold.
Bennett was faced with dozens and dozens of photographers, cameramen, journalists and other interested parties as he went up to collect the trophy – which had been pre-agreed to be awarded to the Grecians in the event of a draw – but he enjoyed the ceremony of the occasion.
He continued: “It was a bit mad – cameras coming at you all at once and in your face, and then different people asking different questions from different directions, and then asking you to turn around – it was a bit crazy for me, I’m not really used to that!
“It was more in the Premier League style, but it was a good experience and I think I coped with it okay – at least I hope I did!”
In particular Scot paid thanks to the contingent that made their way to Brazil to be a part of the fixture at Laranjeiras.
Over 150 Exeter supporters made a journey of nearly 6,000 miles for a unique, once-in-a-lifetime away-day and he paid his thanks on behalf of the team to the travellers.
“It was special to come over here and see so many fans had come over to support us,” said Scot. “They played their part and made the atmosphere a really nice one to play in front of.
“They mixed well with the Brazilian fans and I think us going over to have a picture taken with them just showed what it meant to us.
“It is massive when you can get the support like that to come all the way over here, halfway across the world just to watch your team play football. It’s an amazing feat from them and I think the boys would all like to say thank-you to them for coming out here.”
Aside from the ritualistic aspects of the day, the City skipper was also pleased with the way that the game went in terms of pre-season preparation.
“I think the game went really well – we got out of it what we needed to get out of it,” Scot said. “It wasn’t just a normal friendly – they played well, they worked hard and they made us work hard. That’s good for us as we’re building up to the season.
“They gave us different problems to the ones we’re going to face week in, week out from League 2 opponents. But I think there are some teams in our league that will try to adopt the same sort of style.
“I think defensively it tested us into getting into shape, as they were spreading it and trying to play through the midfield and were moving the ball around quickly.”