Now entering his third season at St James Park, Pierce Sweeney, has become a talismanic presence on the right-hand-side of the Grecians’ defence.
Possessing a bright and chirpy disposition, he has endeared himself to both players and fans alike, being named as the Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association’s most improved player for the 2017/18 season.
1931 – Following a successful trial, Pierce made the move from Reading in July 2016, becoming the club’s 1931 fan sponsored player. Named in honour of the Grecian side that battled its way to the FA Cup quarter-finals, fund members make a monthly contribution, helping to pay the wages of a member of City’s squad.
86 – In his two seasons so far, Pierce has made a total of eighty-six appearances in red and white. His first start came in August 2016, on a 278-mile trip to Blackpool. Unfortunately, he was forced to wait for his first taste of victory, with the Seasiders prevailing 2-0.
9 – Although a defender by trade, he is also a menace in the final third, netting nine goals last season. This guaranteed him a strong showing in the Grecians goal-scoring charts, with his tally bettered only the irrepressible Jayden Stockley, who found the net on twenty-five occasions.
5 – Possessing a cool head under pressure, Pierce took over City’s spot-kick duties from Ruben Reid at the start of last season. However, he had to wait a full three months before he could slot his first penalty, rifling an effort into the left-hand corner during a 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley at St James Park.
3 – Last season, the Grecians faced up against Forest Green Rovers on four separate occasions. Whilst some players might have tired of the repeated trips to Gloucestershire, Pierce clearly relished them, finding the net in three of the fixtures. This included a vital intervention in January, when the teams faced off in an FA Cup Replay. With the Grecians trailing 1-0, he despatched a 73rd-minute penalty, paving the way for Jayden Stockley to grab the spoils in extra time.
87 – Not just a frequent goalscorer, Pierce is also an important creative force. One of his most pleasing contributions came back in March against Swindon Town. With the clock having just ticked past the 87th-minute, he played a delectable ball over the top of the Robins’ defence to Hiram Boetang who cut it back to the prolific Stockley. The end result was inevitable. A true team move, the goal was named as the Vospers’ goal of the season for 2017/18.
2 – Following his impressive performances last time out, Pierce is showing signs of carrying his form into the new campaign. On his first run out during pre-season, he notched two assists in 25 minutes, swinging the ball in for a Stockley volley before laying one on for Jonathan Forte as the Grecians ran out 6-0 winners against Truro City.