Exeter City Academy is a very important part of our club’s Supporters’ Trust ownership model.
This is why – to celebrate the 20 years since the formation of the Supporters’ Trust – we asked you, the fans, to name your favourite Academy XI.
Just for clarification, the players voted on were only ones who played for the academy during Supporters’ Trust ownership which is why the likes of Scott Hiley, Chris Vinnicombe and others – as much-loved by the club as they are – were not included in this poll.
This XI has some players who have commanded big transfer fees to Championship and Premier League sides – earning City much-needed cash windfalls – while others have or continue to impress for teams higher up the football pyramid.
We have chosen a 4-4-2 formation, but we have a wealth of talented left-footed defenders who recieved your vote, so there may be one or two players out of their favoured position.
Christy Pym: Now receiving rave reviews between the sticks at Peterborough United, Christy graduated from the academy in 2013 and made his debut a year later in a 3-2 win away at Southend. A confident shot stopper, Christy would go onto make more than 150 appearances for the club and pick up the player of the season award in his final campaign with the Grecians.
Dean Moxey: Dean is one of the academy's most successful players, which is why we think he is talented and versatlie enough to play at right-back in this team. He scored the goal that set up the tie with Manchester United in the FA Cup in 2005 and achieved back-to-back promotions with the Grecians before leaving to join Derby County and then get promoted to the Premier League with Crystal Palace. Now back at SJP, Dean has returned to his hometown club and is intent on getting us back to League One.
Ethan Ampadu: He was Exeter City's youngest ever player, until that record was taken from him this season by another emerging talent in Ben Chrisene. Ethan's debut was impressive - a stunning performance at centre-back as the Grecians kept Championship side Brentford at bay for 120 minutes to win a first round League Cup tie. Ethan, combining his GCSE studies with playing first team football, would feature another 12 times for the club that season before joining Chelsea.
Jordan Moore-Taylor: Making his debut in a 3-0 win over Burton Albion on September 1, 2012, Jordan was a tough centre back to play against. Physical strong with the ball at his feet as much as he was leaping for a high ball in the air. His first full season as captain of the club saw him marshal a defence that kept 14 clean sheets on their way to the League Two play-off final.
George Friend: George was a key part of the side that gained promotion back to the Football League in 2007/08 and achieved back to back promotions with the club. During his time at St James Park he became the youngest player to captain the club. He has since gone on to have great success as captain of Middlesbrough leading them to the Premier League as skipper.
Liam Sercombe: A midfielder with an eye for a goal against Plymouth Argyle, even after leaving SJP, Liam is well and truly a fans' favourite at Exeter City. He made his debut in a 4-1 win over Altrincham on the opening day of the 2007/08 season and went on to represent the club with great distinction over the following eight years before leaving for Oxford United in 2015.
Archie Collins: Archie, now a regular in the City first team, made his league debut in September 2018, in a 3-1 win against Cheltenham. His first league goal - a wonder strike from 25 yards - came in a 2-0 win over Swindon Town a few months later. He has since captained the City first team this season.
Matt Grimes: Sold for £1.75m to Swansea City in January 2015, Matt burst onto the scene in August 2013 picking up the man-of-the-match award at City beat AFC Wimbledon 2-0 at St James Park on his debut. Calm and confident in possession, Matt would win rave reviews in the City midfield, earning a call up to the England Under-20s squad, and attracting the interest of a number of top-flight clubs before signing for the Swans - where he is currently the club captain.
Matt Jay: Much-loved by the Exeter City faithful, the Thatchers' Big Bank erupted when he scored his first goal at SJP in a 3-0 win over Colchester United last season. Skilful on the ball, Matt bagged four goals in 24 appearances last season and has bagged eight in 22 this campaign.
Ollie Watkins: Currently the top scorer in the Sky Bet Championship with Brentford, Ollie scored on his debut against Coventry in 2014. He is the club's record sale - at £1.8m - and won the EFL 2016/17 young player of the year award while playing for the Grecians. And, of course, who can forget that last minute winning goal against Plymouth Argyle in April 2016. Enough to get him the vote to start up front in this team alone, surely?
Tom Nichols: Tom made his debut against Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the 2010/11 season. However, he didn't establish himself as a first team regular until the 2013/14 season with six goals in 29 appearances. The following campaign he finished as the club's top scorer with 15 and then netted against Liverpool in a man-of-the-match FA Cup third round performance in January 2015.
FORMATION - 4-4-2
Here is how they line-up. As we have too many talented left-footed defenders that received your vote, we have chosen Dean Moxey to play at right-back. However, he is versatile enough to play there.