Exeter City’s new assistant manager Eric Kinder says his arrival at St James Park has come as a nice surprise after being offered the role by new City boss Matt Taylor.
Eric, who has a wealth of experience within coaching, had recently returned to his native north west from Limerick but admitted the opportunity to join City was one he couldn’t turn down.
He said: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s something that came as a nice surprise, I’ve never been this far down the country having lived in Blackburn and then Carlisle. Everyone has made me feel very welcome which has made the decision to come easy, the three or four days that I’ve spent here have been outstanding."
Eric played for the likes of Accrington Stanley, Morecambe and Clitheroe before taking a coaching role with Preston North End, where he met a young Matt Taylor who was coming through the ranks.
A role in charge of Blackburn Rovers’ under-16s followed before Eric spent 17 years at Carlisle United where he played a significant role in the youth setup at the club. Keen to continue his work with young footballers, Eric then returned to Ewood Park to manage the club’s under-23 side before stepping up to the role as Academy Manager. Jobs at Limerick in Ireland and with the Premier League then followed before he received a call from Matt Taylor this summer regarding the Assistant Manager vacancy.
Eric believes that his experience within the game can help Matt as he goes into his first management job.
Eric said: “In the past I’ve given advice to first time managers, whether they are young or old, I’ve always told managers that they need someone beside them that has worked with several managers as a coach.
“My advice to first time managers has always been to bring someone in with experience, someone who has been around a bit. When congratulating Matt on the job I was surprised to hear that the next few lines would be that I was the man that he wanted to come down to help him.
When asked about how he likes the game to be played, Eric says that although every side wishes to play expansive and attacking football, the most important thing to do is win matches.
He continued: “I like to win games. People talk about the way the game should be played, the idea of the game is that you put the ball in the net at one end more than it goes in at your end. The way you do it, you have to work out the opposition that you’re playing against and what is best for you to win that game.
“Of course, we all want to play the Brazilian way from 1970, or the Spanish way from the last few years, but sometimes, you don’t have the players or the ability to do that, so you have to find a way of winning football matches.”
Of course, as many City fans will be aware, Carlisle is some distance from Exeter but the relocation to Devon is something that Eric is looking forward to.
He continued: “That was a big one, in the early discussions. It was nothing to do with the club, the facilities, the money, or anything like that. It was all about the fact that I thought my travelling days were over when I returned form Limerick and I settled down in Carlisle. That was a major decision, but the area around here looks absolutely delightful.”
Eric also revealed how he has been forced to take notice of the Grecians following their successive appearances in the League Two Play-Offs, where of course, the Grecians beat Carlisle over two legs.
Eric said: “I’ve only noticed Exeter City over the last couple of years because of the play-offs, of course, beating Carlisle over two legs of which I went to the first at Brunton Park.
“I knew of the previous manager (Paul Tisdale) who had done a remarkable job with the club and for staying that length of time (12 years.) It’s not normal, you don’t get managers staying at one club for that length of time anymore, so you always had an eye on that. Paul was always known as being the second longest serving manager behind Arsene Wenger, so you always looked at it at who was going to leave first.
But it was the current set up at City, with a new stand coming this season, as well as proven ability to bring through young talent which made Eric accept the role.
He continued” “I think the way that the Chairman (Julian Tagg) and Matt have spoken about the club. The training ground is superb, and everyone should be proud of a place like this as a League Two club. Hopefully, the club will get to where they want to go, which is League One. It’s a new era for Exeter City and I’m delighted to be a part of it and a role I couldn’t turn down.”