Forward to wear 1931 Fund's 31 shirtEXETER CITY and the 1931 Fund can today confirm the signing of forward Joel Grant.
Grant, pictured alongside fellow Grecian David Wheeler, is a free agent after departing Yeovil Town at the end of last season.
The Jamaican international, who was a part of the 2014 Caribbean Cup-winning side, began his career with Watford. He played seven times for the Hornets' first-team, before going to Aldershot Town, initially on loan before making the move permanent. He was involved in the Shots' double-winning side in 2008, with Conference success as well as victory in the Conference League Cup.
Between 2008 and 2011 Joel played for Crewe Alexandra, before spending two years with Wycombe Wanderers until joining the Glovers in 2013.
Joel will wear the number 31 shirt, and a sizeable portion of his wages will be paid by a group of supporters who have pledged to raise £30,000 over the coming season - taking their total investment in Exeter City to £100,000 over seven seasons.
City manager Paul Tisdale thanked the 1931 Fund for their part in making the signing possible, saying: "I would like to thank the 1931 club for their significant contribution towards the signing of Joel. Again, the supporters have made a contribution towards the signing of a player that ordinarily we wouldn't have been able to make happen ourselves. We are again so grateful to them - this is the seventh year that they've done this, so it's not a one-off, and that is a great bonus for the club.
"Joel Grant gives us a terrific attacking option. He's a player who comes in to add to our squad, and gives us an even deeper strength in depth up front. He's a player who we've seen play against us since our days in the Conference, when he was at Aldershot. We've always admired him from afar, and now we've had to opportunity to sign him.
"He has been away on international duty this summer, and comes into a squad already boasting the likes of Lee Holmes, Tom Nichols, Alex Nicholls, Jamie Reid, Will Hoskins, Clinton Morrison and Ollie Watkins, and we hope that will give us that strength in depth ahead of what we hope will be a very positive campaign for us.
"Having not trained for the last two or three weeks, Joel probably needs a week or two to get up to speed, so we're not expecting him to play a full match just yet, but over the next few months we are hoping that he will embed himself into the team. He's a player that we have high expectations for."
Members of the 1931 Fund each pay £19 per month to fund an extra player who wears "their" number 31 shirt in the City squad.
Alan Crockford, of the 1931 Fund, said: "Working together like this, we’ve been able to help City sign somebody who we’re sure will play a big part in a successful season. It’s great to know we’re doing our bit, but this is just the start and we need other fans to join us and help give our club the boost that we’ve promised."
The 1931 Fund is run on behalf of the Supporters Trust by the Exeter Exiles. They chose the 1931 Fund name and shirt number 31 for their player because 1931 was the year of City’s greatest FA Cup run and record crowd of 20,984 at St James Park.
To reach their £30,000 target, the fund needs new members now, and will also be raising money in partnership with Exeter City during the season.
To join up or for more information, please visit www.exeterexiles.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.