Building a legacy for the futureOne of the more recognisable memories from Exeter City’s FA Cup third round replay against Manchester United – which took place ten years ago yesterday – was Scott Hiley’s nutmeg on Cristiano Ronaldo!
And while Hiley’s bit of skill is still a brilliant watch even today, there is a more pertinent legacy from that era when we look through the archives.
The matchday programme from that day lists the 2004/05 Centre of Excellence squad, which contributes plenty of the currently first-team. No less than eight players from that crop have made first-team appearances this season.
Listed in the programme are: Jason Pope (under-9); Matt Grimes and Christy Pym (under-10); Jordan Moore-Taylor (under-11); Tom Nichols (under-12); Aaron Dawson (under-13); Scot Bennett (under-14); Liam Sercombe (under-15). Between them, those eight players have made 132 appearances in the 2014/15 season to date, and have contributed 20 goals.
With the Academy growing in stature all the time, the young players which are currently in the Exeter City system have a clear pathway into professional football which has proven to be achievable with the right blend of talent and hard work.
BBC Spotlight are also highlighting the role of the Exeter City Academy over the next couple of days as well. Tune into BBC 1 tonight (Tuesday) at 6.30pm to see a feature on the Academy’s role in developing Matt Grimes, who was recently transferred to Premier League side Swansea City, and stay tuned tomorrow (Wednesday) when Spotlight will be talking to current aspiring under-18 players Alex Byrne, Joe Charles and Josh Read.