Grecians boss looks ahead to Northampton visitEXETER CITY manager Paul Tisdale has paid tribute to outgoing under-18s coach Lee Skyrme as the Grecians prepare for the visit of Northampton Town this weekend.
Skyrme has been credited with preparing the likes of Ollie Watkins for the step-up from the City academy to the first-team, and will soon be departing the club in order to take up a new position with the FA.
“I think it just continues the performance of the club in all departments as has been the case for a number of years,” Paul said. “Be it Kwame Ampadu, Kevin Nicholson, David Lee on the analyst side, Rob Edwards, Paul Buckle or Joe Gallen, it’s something we do. It’s about development, and it’s not just the eleven players on the pitch. It’s bringing youth players through and developing the players we sign, giving everyone the chance to develop.
“If you’ve got some talent and you work hard, you have an opportunity at Exeter City. I think Lee’s another good example of staff enhancing their careers and developing with the help of Exeter City.”
The academy has been a topic front and centre in recent weeks, and with Ollie Watkins claiming accolades and captain Jordan Moore-Taylor reaching his one hundredth appearance for the club.
“Ollie has done very well over the last month or so,” Paul continued. “He’s proven to be probably our second best young player at the moment, behind Jordan Moore-Taylor. Jordan’s done it over a hundred games now, and Ollie’s pretty new to it, but he’s shown a lot of good attributes other than his talent. He’s working incredibly hard, he’s defending for the team and those things are the attributes which get you in the team in the first place and which will keep you there.
City go into the weekend level on points with both Wycombe Wanderers and AFC Wimbledon as all three look for a play-off spot.
“We’re in the thick of it,” Paul said, “but if you look at how much things have changed in the last five games, surely they can change the other way in the last five games. Where we sit today is absolutely irrelevant. It’s all hypothetical, and we’ve got some very tough games to come.
“I can’t speculate on Northampton – they’ve got promoted, but that could make them more confident or more relaxed. They haven’t lost a game for goodness-knows how long, and they still have the league title to win. We just have to assume that they’ll be at their best; that’s all we can do.
“The squad is pretty similar to how it was last week – Matt Oakley is out, and Clinton Morrison is out. But the rest of them are fit.”