Five young Exeter City players were involved in match action on Saturday at their loan clubs.
Alex Hartridge played 90 minutes for Truro City in their opening Conference South league fixture against Billericay Town, while Max Smallcombe played 80 plus minutes in midfield.
The White Tigers lost the match, in what was a tough encounter against the pre-season title favourites, but City under-23 coach Dan Green says the experience will stand them in good stead.
“It is never good to lose but they have got to learn quickly at that level,” said Dan. “It was a tough game. They played against a team with a lot of experienced players and that will be a great experience for them to have.”
Both Alex and Max will look to bounce back from that loss this evening when Truro travel to Weston-super-Mare.
Ben Seymour, off the back of an impressive goalscoring season on loan at Bideford, is also now plying his trade at Conference South level for Gloucester City.
He also played a full 90 minutes on loan at Marc Richards’ side as they were beaten 2-0 away at Concord Rangers. The Tigers will be at home tonight against Oxford City where Ben will be hoping to be involved once more.
Harry Kite will have to wait and see if he can play in Southern League Premier South side Dorchester’s opening fixture of the season. The Magpies face Metropolitan Police but, having been concussed in the club’s final pre-season friendly against Winchester Town, he is following the necessary protocols to ensure he is healthy enough to take to the field.
“Harry was concussed last week playing for Dorchester. He went in for a tackle and just got a bang to the head off an opponent’s knee,” explained Dan Green. “He was really well looked after by the Dorchester medical team and, since then, Adey (Saunderson) and the rest of the medical staff at City have been following protocol in his return to play over the next week or so.
“It all seems to be as well as can be expected at this time and hopefully he will be back as soon as he has served his return to play protocol.”
Joel Randall and Josh Key could make their competitive bows for Tiverton Town on Saturday away at Swindon Supermarine. They both impressed in a recent pre-season friendly for the Southern League Premier South-side, playing in unfamiliar roles away at Crediton United.
“Both ended up playing at full-back on Saturday away at Crediton,” explained Dan. “It isn’t something they have done a lot of times but again it was a great experience for them. They are both wide players that need to improve their defending so we are really pleased that they are going to get that experience this year and we hope that they can be a positive influence on Tiverton’s season.”
Josh Key was also on target during the match which ended in a 6-0 win for Martyn Rogers’ side.
Speaking about the loan moves as a whole, Dan says it is important the players get this experience of men’s football and he is pleased with the way the players have approached it.
“It is a phrase that everyone keeps using: ‘He is an experienced player and he is not an experienced player’,” said Dan. “There is only one way to go and get that experience and I am really pleased with the way the boys have approached their loans. It is off the back of some great work that Matt (Taylor) did last year with the under-23s and Jordan Storey in particular. We just want to help the players gain those invaluable experiences and help them be ready for our first team.”