City manager talks about returning RyanPaul Tisdale was pleased to have tied up a deal to bring Ryan Harley back to St James Park from Swindon Town.
It is over three years since Harley was last seen in Exeter City colours, having joined for Swansea City in the summer of 2011.
He hasn’t featured for the Robins so far this season, so Tis is naturally cautious about what capacity he will be used in. With Shrewsbury Town visited St James Park this weekend, it may be too early to call on his services straight away.
But Paul is hoping that he can soon prove his fitness levels and begin to make an impact sooner rather than later.
“He trained with us a while ago and he has been back at Swindon for the last month,” Paul explained. “We haven’t seen him for a while but we’ve agreed a deal to bring him on loan until January, with the intention of making it permanent.
“He hasn’t trained or played a great deal so we’ll assess how fit he is – I don’t want to compromise his fitness or risk injury by chucking him straight in too soon with a start.
“He did very well for us before, but he has to get back onto a dynamic footing and get his form.
“I wouldn’t say ‘you’re only as good as your last game’ – that’s a cliché and a little bit strong, though you certainly need to get your form up. But he has got a few credits.
“I’m sure people will be fond of him and pleased he is back, and in time I’m sure he will get his form up but we shouldn’t expect too much in the first couple of weeks.
“But the sooner I can get him into the fray and training and onto the bench in the first instance, the better.
“He can hurt the opposition – he is a good footballer, he’s a good passer of the ball which fits into how we’re playing, and he has the ability to score goals which he proved in his previous spell with us.
“We’re hoping to affect our opponents’ goal more often than we are at the moment, and he’ll add to it. They are the clear strengths.”
Ryan becomes the third player within the last 12 months to join Exeter for a second spell. Matt Gill moved back to Exeter a year ago, and David Noble has been reintroduced to the City midfield this summer.
Former Grecian George Friend – now a favourite at Middlesbrough – also spent a second spell with City after leaving the club.
Paul felt that the welcoming nature of the club, and the ongoing relationships with former players, was a reason why he has been able to bring in old faces to add the ever-developing team.
“A lot of people say ‘don’t go back’ – but I spoke to George Friend recently and he said that one of the best decisions he ever made was to re-sign for us on loan as it kick-started his career again,” said Tis.
“In each situation it is about how you apply yourself to it – that’s the club and the player. It’s about relationships and trust, and a combined intention to do the best you can do.
“I’m sure that Ryan has that – as does David Noble and like George Friend did when he came back to us three or four years ago.
“I’m pleased to have people back here. That’s the type of club we are – we leave on good terms and they always want to come back.”