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💬 Alex Hartridge: "It just shows that they trust the youth and their willing to put the academy graduates in."

Young defender speaks about making his full professional debut against Grimsby Town

29 December 2018

Defender Alex Hartridge said Exeter City is a great club to be at, after making his full debut for the first team in today’s match against Grimsby Town.

The 19-year-old, who is a product of the Exeter City Academy, played at right-back in a quite remarkable game where the Grecians dominated the play and chances but ended up on the wrong side of a 2-1 defeat.

However, having been one of five players in the starting XI, who has graduated from the club’s academy, Alex admitted it was a proud day for him to represent his hometown club and indicative of Exeter City that he has been given a chance in the first team. 

“It was fantastic,” said Alex. “I enjoyed every minute of it. It was not the result we wanted, but personally I think it is a step in the right direction.

“It is good to be at Exeter (as a youngster). Archie (Collins) is starting to establish himself now and, with the loan boys, we had four teenagers playing in the side today. It just shows that they trust the youth and their willing to put the academy graduates in, so it is really good.

“I think everyone, all the way through the academy, you hear about the graduates who are playing in the first team and it is rammed into you where you could be and it is so obvious that there is that carrot at the end. 

“Then when you get, get closer and then seeing people like Archie (Collins) getting in a few months before is really good to see.”

The game itself, saw Grimbsy take the lead with their first shot on target through Martyn Woolford, before the Grecians responded with numerous shots on goal. However, they had two goals disallowed for offside, three cleared off the line and found Grimsby keeper James

However, they had two goals disallowed for offside, three cleared off the line and found Grimsby keeper James McKeown in inspired form before Jayden Stockley headed them level with 12 minutes remaining. However, at 1-1, City then gave a soft penalty away, which was converted by Mitch Rose, to give Grismby the points. However, they still needed a few more saves and

However, at 1-1, City then gave a soft penalty away, which was converted by Mitch Rose, to give Grismby the points. However, they still needed a few more saves and goallines clearances in injury time, to take the points. 

“Their keeper had a rather good game and things didn’t quite fall for us at key times,” said Alex. “We needed to be a bit stronger once we got that goal back to make sure they don’t turn it around. I think if we had held on for five minutes after we had scored we would have gone on to nick it. I think if you play that game again then nine times out of 10 we would win it.”

“The way we played, I think if you watched it at any point in the game, you would have thought we were the team that was winning and on top. Christy Pym has just said in the dressing room that he touched the ball about five times, which tell you the story of the game.”

Up next at St James Park:

City take on Cambridge United on Saturday, January 26 in a 3pm kick-off. Ticket prices are cheaper in advance. Click here to buy online.


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