🔢 City players by numbers: Jake Taylor

On the books at Reading from the age of eight, Jake first arrived at St James Park on a season-long loan in September 2011.

After a near four-year interlude, during which he was capped twice by Wales, he made his return in 2016, agreeing permanent terms. A central midfielder, who can also play on the right flank and as a number 10, he has played a central role in City’s success over the last two seasons and will be hoping, as the club’s new skipper, to spur them on to even greater heights this time out.

16 – Although he was born and raised in Berkshire, Jake’s first link to Exeter was formed at the age of 16, when he met former City manager, Eamonn Dolan. Then the head of Reading’s academy, ‘Eamo’ was pivotal in helping the young midfielder to break into the Royals’ first team, and later secured him a move to St James Park, where he earned his first protracted run in senior football. Following his tragic passing in the summer of 2016, Jake underlined the role that the great man played in his development, telling the Grecian that: “Without Eamonn I would have had a very different path in my football career, so I do owe him an awful lot.”

30 – Just 19 upon his arrival, in the autumn of 2011, the precocious midfielder was a bright light in what was a tough season for the Grecians, making 30 appearances as the club dropped out of League One. He also notched a tally of three goals, his first in senior football, finding the net in wins over Rochdale and Leyton Orient, whilst also scoring a crucial equaliser away at Yeovil Town.

344 – Following less successful spells at Cheltenham Town, Crawley Town, Leyton Orient and Motherwell, Jake rejoined the Grecians in January 2016, making his second debut a full 344 miles away at Hartlepool. He came on in the 86th minute as the Grecians grabbed a well-earned win, courtesy of goals from Alex Nicholls and Joel Grant.

68 – It would take a full month and a half before Jake could add to his account in red and white, finding the net away at Notts County in mid-March. With the clock ticking over into the 68th minute, and the scores delicately balanced at 1-1, he steamed onto an Ollie Watkins through ball, slotting it past the keeper with a sumptuous side-footed finish. His goal turned the game, with the Grecians ultimately turning out a handsome 4-1 win.

100 – Adored by the Grecian faithful for his committed performances, Jake brought up a significant milestone away at Swindon Town in August 2017, coming on at half time to make his 100th appearance for the club. Unfortunately, Exeter were unable to claim a win to mark the occasion, with the two teams battling out a 1-1 draw.

12 – His century aside, however, Jake’s 2017/18 campaign also saw him come of age as both a leader and a creative force. Named as the team’s vice-captain, he made a stunning 51 appearances in all competitions, laying on a chart topping 12 assists for his teammates.

1 – Thankfully for Grecians everywhere, Jake has started the new season in a bright vein of form. Named by Matt Taylor as the club’s new captain, following the departure of Jordan Moore-Taylor, he has already made 14 appearances, notching up one assist, helping the Grecians to fight their way to second in the table.