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Club News

📝 New Season New Team: Wigan Athletic

26 May 2023

Club News

📝 New Season New Team: Wigan Athletic

26 May 2023

Ahead of the new League One season, which kicks off in August, we're taking a look at the seven new teams who feature in the third tier next season.

We begin with a look at Wigan Athletic - a club well known to City boss Gary Caldwell. They were relegated from the Championship in 24th place and will begin the new campaign on -8 points due to ongoing financial issues.

A Short History

Wigan Athletic spent most of their early years in non-league football between 1932 and 1978, when they were elected to the Football League. Since then, they grradually rose through the leagues and won the Football League Trophy twice in the 1980s. After two decades floating between the second and third tiers, the Latic reached the holy grail of the Premier League in 2005, thanks to a second placed finish behind Sunderland in the 2004/05 Championship season. It was the first time they had reached the top division in their 73 year history. 

File:David Sharpe, Paul Sharpe and David Whelan holding FA cup.png -  Wikimedia Commons

In their debut season they reached the League Cup final, losing 4-0 to Manchester United in Cardiff, and finished the campaign in a respectable 10th place - though they did sit second in November! For the six of their next seven seasons, the Latics finished no higher than 14th and brushed with the relegation scrap several times before sccumbing to the drop in 2012/13. That season however will be considered one to remember for Wigan however, as they lifted the FA Cup - stunning Manchester City at Wembley with Ben Watson's 90th minute goal to bcome the first side to hold the unique honour of winning the FA Cup and being relegated in the same season. City boss Caldwell was part of that cup winning side.

The following campaign saw Championship football mix with the Europa League, as the Latics saw trips to QPR, Huddersfeld and Watford intertwined with journeys to Maribor, Kazan and Waregem. They finished bottom of their group and fifth in the league but were relegated the following season to League One. They returned at the first time of asking, but went down again, before bouncing back for a second time in 2018. Another relegation and subsequent promotion followed, before their most recent drop last season.

Latics lap of honour 2, Wigan Athletic v Barnsley, 8 May 2… | Flickr

The Manager

Shaun Maloney 

Former Scotland international Maloney is well known to Gary Caldwell - Gary was his assistant manager at Hibernian between December 2021 and April 2022, and they played together at the Latics. Maloney was appointed as Wigan's head coach in January and joined a side mired in financial issues. He was unable to keep them in the Championship, but he is likely to be given another shot in the third tier.

Head To Head

The Grecians and the Latics have not met in a league fixture since January 1997 in the old Division 3. We have won three of our 16 matches, with Wigan winning ten and three draws. Our under-18s did face Wigan in the FA Youth Cup in 2016, losing 2-1 at SJP.

Exeter City: 3 Wins

Draws: 3

Wigan: 10 Wins

Previous Fixture 

Exeter City 0 Wigan Athletic 1 | 18/01/97 | Division Three

Random Fact

In August 2019, the club announced that a giant pie, called Crusty, would serve as the team's new mascot for the 2019/20 season. Crusty The Pie was chosen following a competition in which more than 90 primary schools were invited to submit ideas, with over half of the entries opting for a pie.

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