Well what a couple of weeks those were. After flying high at the top end of the league the wheels went in various directions at Cambridge and Scunthorpe.
Win, lose or draw it’s never quite what it seems, however it’s the result everybody sees and this was something nobody wanted to see. And can’t you just believe it - guess what happens in the FA Cup draw, yes, we’re going to return to the scene of the crime…
Talking about returning to the scene, the Plymouth game was one to savour. It’s 90 years since a result that matches that. It’s not a time to gloat or behave in any other way than an exemplary fashion and that’s exactly what our manager did in every interview he gave. It’s just one more game and three more points in the march toward the outcome we are all working and aiming for. That said, I can’t remember a night out after a game I enjoyed quite that much but then 4-0 on any day is a special result.
We’re not quite sure how that result came about and there are a lot of people claiming the glory. Some say it’s down to the manager, or even the players themselves…surely not…some say it’s fitness coach Connor Durbridge’s insistence they stayed overnight after the Scunthorpe game, but we’ve done some investigations and we’ve discovered is that it’s down to banana bread our kitchen volunteer, at the training ground Jenny Lees made for the boys. We are grateful to so many of our volunteers who give their time to support our lads, no matter how big or small their contribution.
A quick note to recognise the great work of the ‘match day team’ behind the match day team. A near 8,000 full house and the operation ran extremely smoothly and credit should go not only to our own fans but to Argyle’s fans too. There was a terrific atmosphere, the Big Bank in full cry, and the singing banter going back and forth producing some very funny lines. Exactly how it should be and a thank you to both sets of fans from both clubs.
Interest in our young academy players isn’t something we would normally talk about, but it seems churlish not to, when there’s so much information out there on social media, and this time it is the talented Ben Chrisene who is in the spotlight, with his visits to Liverpool and Bayern Munich. I’m not going to bore you with my normal rant about the unfairness of the compensation rules and regulations, but watch this space, I will continue “very loudly” to agitate in all the corridors of power to make the changes that not just our club but football needs and deserves. Importantly, at this point we need to understand the really important things and they are, that like Ethan, Matt and Ollie, Ben is a solid, respectful individual who has great support from his family and his school. We often talk about creating rounded, well-adjusted young men at our academy and this is yet another great example of this in action.
There are a few important things coming regarding the Supporters’ Trust. The ballot papers have been distributed for the trust board elections – if you’re a member of the Trust make sure you use your vote. The Trust’s AGM, which is an event that is always well attended, poignant and purposeful, will take place on November 16 at the Phoenix.
Whilst I’m talking about the Trust, we do receive a lot of interest in the supporter-owned model that we have at our club. We are due a visit from an academic from the University of Hamburg to see what we do and in particular how we work with young people. We certainly welcome any academic studies which support what we are doing and help us to grow and adapt for the future.
CITY Community Trust continue to do their great work delivering health and wellbeing activity. The charity stages five running events across the year and the next one is the Santa Run on December 1. Seeing hundreds of Santas dashing down the High Street really is a sight to behold. Visit their website for more information https://www.exetercitycommunitytrust.co.uk/running-events
Finally, if I can return to the Academy for a moment, despite three players missing, the team securing a 1-0 win in the U18 FA youth cup first round against Argyle at Home Park on Friday night in atrocious conditions was a great start to the weekend. It did of course get better…. for us!