Dean Moxey has rejoined Exeter City following an eight-year absence from St James Park.
Dean, born in Exeter, broke into the Grecians first team in October 2003 and played around 200 games for the club as City gained promotion from the Football Conference to League One.
However, in the summer of 2009 he left to join Championship side Derby County, before gaining promotion to the Premier League with Crystal Palace in 2013. He left the Eagles in 2014 for a three-year spell at Bolton Wanderers.
After his contract expired at the Macron Stadium, Dean admits to being as ‘happy as Larry’ to return to Exeter.
“It is nice to have the kit back on and I have got my number back,” said Dean, who admits the Cliff Hill training ground has improved a fair bit since he left in 2009.
“It is strange, having not been here for eight years,” he added. “It (the training ground) has improved a fair bit since I was last here, with the 3G pitch down the bottom.
“The first team training pitch looks fantastic now as well – it was just mud when I was here before – and with this Stanno thing just inside the door here it is good to be back.”
Having had experience of playing in the Premier League and Championship, Dean was not short on offers when his contract expired at Bolton Wanderers. However, he added that the chance to come back to Exeter – when he still has plenty to give at the age of 31 – proved too good of an opportunity to turn down.
“I had a few interested clubs, but when Exeter came in it was always something that I was going to want to do and luckily we got it over the line,” said Dean.
“I have always thought about coming back here and I am just glad that I am able to do it now rather than at 36 or 37.
“I am here to win. I want to get promoted. I don’t want to be in League Two to be honest, so I want to get promoted with Exeter and keep doing what we were doing when I left this place before.”
Dean, having kept an eye on City’s results ever since his departure, is also well aware of the potential this team has.
“It is a fantastic squad,” he said. “I was on holiday and I watched the play-off final in a sports bar where I was and I was gutted for them.
“It is not a nice place to go and lose, putting all that effort into the play-offs.
“I also came to St James Park for the semi-final play-off second leg and what a team performance that was and what a great all-round atmosphere. I think this team deserves to be in League One at least and I think if we had had a better start last season – without all the injuries – I think we would have easily gone up.”
Dean, a fans’ favourite at St James Park, says he is looking forward to repaying the supporters for their superb backing over the years.
“The Exeter City fans have always been fantastic with me coming through as 16/17-year-old,” he said. “Hopefully I can repay them with some good performances this season and hopefully get promoted.”