Returning playmaker keen to kick on with CityRyan Harley returned to the Exeter City ranks a week ago on a loan deal from Swindon Town – and he is looking forward to returning to action with the Grecians soon.
Last Saturday’s home game against Shrewsbury came a little too soon for Ryan to get a run-out at St James Park – he is currently working his way back towards match fitness after seven months without a competitive appearance.
The playmaker featured 144 times during his first spell with the Grecians, but has played fewer than half that number of games in his three years away from the Park during spells with Brighton, MK Dons and Swindon.
So now he is looking forward to getting back into City colours and being part of the Grecians’ campaign going forward.
“It has been frustrating at times because I’ve not played as much,” Ryan said. “I’ve had a lot of injuries and I’ve not been involved as much as I would like to.
“So I’m just moving forward and I’m looking forward to playing again. Hopefully I can push on with Exeter City.
“Every footballer wants to play, and I’m no different. Hopefully Tis will pick me and it will be nice to get started again.
“I’m really ambitious to come back and do well; hopefully the club can push on now because it’s been a good start and we are only three points off the play-offs. Looking forward this season, everyone has a chance and we’re included in that.”
While there have inevitably been changes during Ryan’s time away from the Park, there have also been a number of constants as well. During that time away there have also been plenty of young players that have graduated from the Academy ranks to feature regularly in first-team affairs.
That reintegration period has also been aided by training with the City squad earlier in the year and getting to know his new teammates.
“There are couple of familiar faces – obviously the manager and some of the staff were here when I was first here, and four of five of the players too,” continued Harley.
“Of course there are quite a lot of new players too, but I was training with them previously so I know most of them anyway now.
“I remember a couple of the faces of the younger boys but I hadn’t seen them playing in the first team before, so I didn’t really know too much about them.
“They’re a really good bunch – there are a lot of talented players here and a lot of good footballers. Hopefully we can do some good things this season. It’s nice to be back and enjoying it, and I’m looking forward to getting going again.
“It always helps when you know people at a club – it helps you to settle in, and that helps your football and everything that goes along with it really.”
Exeter’s next fixture is a trip to Accrington on Friday, in which Ryan is hoping to be involved in.
Dependent on how training goes, he could make his first appearance in City colours since a trip to Sheffield Wednesday in May 2011 when the Grecians face Stanley at the Crown Ground.
He continued: “I’ve trained over the last couple of days with the boys, which has been good – I feel okay but not quite as sharp as I want to be.
“But that shouldn’t take too long – hopefully I’ll be ready to be involved very soon.
“I don’t know yet whether Friday at Accrington will be too soon – I’ll speak to Tis and see how I feel in training, and we’ll go from there.”