A captain needs many qualities to be able to lead their team on the pitch.
Confidence, communication, discipline and the ability to motivate the players around them are key. However, at Exeter City, there seems to be another quality needed; the surname Taylor has appeared on the backs of six City skippers.
Former England international Peter Taylor was the first to don the armband as manager Gerry Francis made immediate use of the 30-year-old’s vast experience, making him captain shortly after his debut. However, Peter only made seven more appearances for the Grecians in a season where the club finished bottom of the Third Division.
No-nonsense defender Shaun Taylor was City’s captain in arguably the club’s finest hour, the Fourth Division title win in 1990. Shaun’s leadership talents were spotted by higher clubs, and he made the move to Swindon Town in 1991 for £200,000. Just as he had with City, Shaun would captain the Robins to a title, this time the Second Division in 1996.
Manchester United academy product Andy Taylor was the next Taylor to take the armband, playing for the Grecians during the Conference years. The midfielder played in City’s famous 0-0 with Manchester United, having a close shot saved by Tim Howard, as well as two play-off campaigns, before leaving for Truro in 2008.
Like previous captain Shaun, Matt Taylor began his career playing for numerous non-league sides before joining City in 2007. The centre-back became an instant favourite for Grecian supporters due to his never-say-die attitude and, surprisingly, his goal scoring record – the skipper netted nine times in his debut season. After back-to-back promotions and an 8thplace finish in League One, Matt left for Charlton Athletic in 2011. Once retired, Matt returned to City initially as a coach in 2016, before taking over as manager this summer.
Jordan Moore-Taylor graduated from City’s academy in 2012 and made his debut a month later in a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, where he was handed the unenviable task of marking Wilfried Zaha. The defender first took the armband as a 21-year-old away at Didcot Town in the first round of the FA Cup in a 3-0 victory for the Grecians. Succeeding Matt Oakley as captain, Jordan led the team to successive Wembley play-off finals before leaving for MK Dons in June.
Current City captain Jake Taylor was appointed as skipper by Matt Taylor in the summer, becoming the sixth Taylor to take the armband. Jake first played for Exeter on loan from Reading during the 2011/12 season, and he then returned to the south-west permanently in 2016. Jake became vice-captain last season, leading the team in Jordan Moore-Taylor’s absence, before taking up the main role this season.
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