💬 Chairman's Column: September

Exeter City chairman Julian Tagg writes a monthly column for the Express and Echo newspaper/Devon Live. Take a read of this month's edition👇

There’s been a lot of action since last month’s column. We’ve had good results, not so good results, penalty shoot outs, a ‘few’ bookings and a sending off…and then there was the Lincoln debacle - the less said about that the better and by that, I’m not talking about the score line.

Looking forward, we’ve got Cheltenham at home on Saturday - a club our manager knows only too well! And with great crowds so far this season, a fantastic win away at Mansfield last week and the imminent arrival of a new grandstand, the park should be packed once again. I know Matt and the players are loving the hugely positive atmosphere at SJP, as are so many of the fans I speak to.

Whilst all the focus has been on what is looking like a spectacular new Stagecoach Stand, the Away End is beginning to take shape. To see the first few steels going into the groundfor me was just as exciting, our old Away End with its pitiful exterior of corrugated iron, probably stemming back from the war (not sure which one), was always an embarrassment for me.

Of course, there are still improvements to make - you always can, and we always will - but it will be fantastic to have a completed ground we can be proud of for the first time in our history as a trust-owned club.

We were proud to be able to support Emergency Services Day on September 9 when members of our valuable emergency services were given a free ticket for the match. This video from Glasgow Rangers really did hit an emotional chord for me, it’s a sight for sore eyes to see the total and deserved respect poured upon our services. So, we were really pleased to do an event of our own which was well subscribed and appreciated. It is great for us to be able to give something back to those who put their lives on the line for us every day.

The Supporters’ Trust continue to do their great work. They’ve recently put out a survey to gather the views of our fans. Make sure you’ve got your copy by emailing enquiries@weownexetercityfc.co.uk as we’d love to get your views on the future of YOUR club.

One thing that makes me very proud of the position I hold is the work that our club does in supporting so many great causes. One particular event taking place this week means a lot to me. On Wednesday a group of cyclists set off from St James Park to cycle to Germany in memory of Jason Cloke who died from the genetic disease haemochromatosis.

This is close to my heart as I taught Jason when he was a student at Exeter College and I have a low level of the disease myself. And Jason’s mum Jenny Lees is one of us – a true Exeter City stalwart, having previously been secretary of CITY Community Trust, she now oversees and manages the players’ lunches. Jenny will do anything for anyone - you only have to ask and she is there, so the least we could do was to provide one of the club’s minibuses as the support vehicle, with our own groundsman Clive Pring at the wheel. More information can be found here

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