Holmes: “A simple decision”

New signing on decision to join the Grecians

Exeter City’s newest arrival Lee Holmes – who joined on Monday afternoon on loan from Preston North End – felt that the decision to move to St James Park was a ‘simple’ one.

The winger was a regular in the Lilywhites team which finished fifth in League 1 last year, but injury curtailed his pre-season ahead of 2014/15 and appearances for the Deepdale club have consequently been restricted this year.

And he admitted that his mind was made up after talking with manager Paul Tisdale, as well as picking the brains of his former Southampton teammate Danny Butterfield.

“The manager contacted me to see if I would be interested, and having had a few long chats it was a very simple decision,” he said.

“Me and my family spoke about it – it’s obviously a long way from home – but the manager and I had in-depth chats and it was mainly him that convinced me to come down.

“He sold it for me in everything he was saying.  The atmosphere and what he is trying to create, and what he has created already – being able to play football with a smile on your face is an amazing thing to do and a privilege.

“I spoke to Butts before I came down, who I’m very good friends with.  He only had good things to say about the club, the management staff and everyone connected with the club.

“That was another selling point for me to come down and finish the season down here, and see what happens.”

The 27-year-old had a stint with Portsmouth earlier this year on loan from Preston, which helped him to keep his match sharpness high.

And now Holmes is just looking forward to featuring in the Grecians’ run-in to the campaign and bringing his abilities to the squad.

He has played at St James Park once before, and scored his first Southampton goal in a 3-1 Carling Cup game on that occasion back in 2008.

Paperwork permitting, the winger could be eligible to make his second appearance at the Park with a City debut in Tuesday evening’s home game against Stevenage.

“Portsmouth was a great thing for me at the time because it got me games and got me match-fit,” he continued. 

“Then I went back to Preston for a bit and now I’m itching to play week-in, week-out.  Hopefully I can bring something good to the table.

“Since I heard that this was a possibility, I’ve kept an eye on the results.  The last two results have been great, with six goals in the last two games.  I’m excited to be part of it.

“I love to get on the ball and attack full-backs, and make things happen – assists, crosses and goals.

“I can also play in behind the front-man, as I played a lot of in my campaign last year at Preston. 

“Across the front three I’m very versatile and I can go either way on either foot, which hopefully makes things better for me and worse for defenders.”