For a number of years, the name ‘Liam Sercombe’ was synonymous with Exeter City FC.
A fixture in the middle of midfield as the Grecians rose through the divisions a decade ago, Liam’s graduation into the first team began the most successful decade in the history of City’s academy.
Thrown in the deep end on his professional debut, 17-year-old Liam came on in the 11th minute for an injured Andy Taylor against Altringham on the opening day of the 2007/08 season. Partnering the equally inexperienced Bristol City loanee Frankie Artus in midfield, Liam helped drag City back from 1-0 down with half an hour left to turn the game on its head and smash the Robins 4-1.
In a cruel twist of fate, Liam started but was forced off after 20 minutes in the following game against Crawley and he struggled to break into the team again for the rest of the season.
However, during the following season City’s number 22 established himself in the starting 11 in the Grecian’s first foray into the Football League for five years. Liam’s surging runs from midfield and a tactical awareness that was far beyond his years endeared him to City fans, who let every club know through song that he was ‘one of our own’.
Liam was an almost ever-present over the club’s three seasons in League One, making 116 appearances over the next three years and being handed Ryan Harley’s number 7 shirt in 2011. The midfielder spent three more seasons at Exeter as the club stabilised in League Two before leaving upon the expiring of his contract in 2015 to join Oxford United.
Playing in a more advanced position at the Yellows, Liam scored a career-best 17 goals in Oxford’s electric 2015/16 season, where Michael Appleton’s men stormed League Two with their jaw-dropping attacking football and reached the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final, unfortunately losing to Barnsley.
The Westcountry came calling again in 2017 but this time with Bristol Rovers, where Liam stayed for three seasons before returning to the fourth tier with Cheltenham Town.