Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

📝 Harry Kite: Time to say goodbye

Hear from 'One of our Own' on their City Journey

29 April 2024

Club News

📝 Harry Kite: Time to say goodbye

Hear from 'One of our Own' on their City Journey

29 April 2024

After 102 appearances, last Saturday’s League One curtain closer against Oxford United marked the end of Harry Kite’s 15-year career as an Exeter City player.

Joining the club as an academy player at the age of eight, Harry made the journey that all aspiring Grecians hope to, through the age groups into the first team, where he made some special memories in red and white.

We caught up with Kitey before the final game of the season to discuss his memorable time at his hometown club.


“It was a really tough decision for me to leave. Having been in the academy since I was eight, it has been a really long time at one club but I have loved every moment of it. It has been a difficult decision but I feel like it is the right step for me in my career.

“I feel like I would like a new challenge that is different to what I have known. In the long run I feel it will benefit me.”

Harry’s journey started as a youngster, and like so many of the players who have come through the ranks owes his career to the dedication of his parents who sacrificed time and money to ensure Harry was given the chance to thrive as a professional footballer.

“My brother was in the academy, four years older than me, and I managed to get a trial and get in, through to doing my scholarship at 16 then getting my professional contract at 18.

“So long hours, lots of travelling, then training which was three nights a week. I have to give special credit to my parents to that for the thousands of miles taking me and my brother around – and they still come to home games now!

“Those two, without them, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be a professional footballer.”

Kite .jpg

Harry’s love for the club began long before his academy journey, first visiting St James Park with his local youth team as match day guests, and it was at that moment that he discovered his desire to play for local team.

“I remember, playing for Crediton Saints, we came on the pitch to play at St James Park and ever since then I knew that it was what I wanted to do.

“To be able to come through for my home town and make over 100 appearances is such a proud moment for me. I will always cherish that.”

That 100th appearance for Harry came at Port Vale just a few weeks ago, with the announcement that he would be leaving the club following shortly after the 4-2 win at Vale Park. To make a century of appearances for the Grecians may not have been possible without the hard work of the dedicated group of coaches in the City academy,

“The academy staff are amazing and I couldn’t possibly name all of them. One thing we were always taught was about being a good person. It is important that it isn’t all just football, football, football, and that was a big quality that I know the academy focus on still even now.”

Such was the impact on the academy that Harry had, his first team debut was handed to him just days after an appearance for the under-18s against Cheltenham, with an EFL Trophy tie against Yeovil Town marking his first senior outing. Expecting just a few minutes on the pitch, Kitey’s debut turned out to be much longer, owing to an early injury to a team mate.

5 KITE 2020.jpg

“My debut was amazing. We played on the Saturday in the academy and I came in on the Monday and remember being told I’d be with the first team, and told I’d be in the squad on the Tuesday.

“I was over the moon. In the game, Luke Croll went down early and I ended up playing 80/85 minutes and I felt incredibly lucky. I learnt so much from being in and around the first team.”

Like so many of the academy products, loan moves played a pivotal part of Harry’s exposure to first team football and it was at Dorchester Town that he found success, before finding further joy just up the M5 in Taunton.

“I loved my time at Dorchester and that was such an important loan for me. I played pretty much every game for them in the league and it was great to go into mens football where there was such a huge step up from the academy.

“It was an unbelievable season for myself, then went on loan to Taunton. It was great to expand your wings and broaden your horizon and I really enjoyed my time there too, it was a shame that season got cut short by Covid.”

Having used the loan moves to his advantage, Harry was given a shot at first team football with the Grecians at the start of the 2020/21 season, which was played behind closed doors due to Covid.

Harry’s first professional goal came in October 2020 away to Swindon in the EFL Trophy, as City scored twice inside 7 minutes in an eventual 4-3 victory. Kite’s goal was probably a shot, but as he says himself, it doesn’t matter how they go in.


“The Swindon game in the EFL Trophy was a really good experience and for me at the time I was in an out of the team, and it’s a competition that it great for the younger players and those coming back from injury. It was great to score that goal – even if it was a cross – but they all count!”

That performance led to an eventual league debut for the Grecians just a few days later against Scunthorpe United – though he was cruelly denied the opportunity to share the moment with his family due to the Covid regulations.

“When I knew I was playing the family were on iFollow immediately. It would have been amazing to have made my debut in front of fans  - it didn’t feel the same – but it was great, especially to get the win as well.”

Harry would go on to make six more appearances that season – three in the league – as he began to establish himself as a first team player, though competition for places was high in a team that was fighting for a promotion spot.

“When I played against Scunthorpe I knew there was a chance I’d make a few more and it was about waiting for my opportunity. We had a really strong team that year and we knew we’d be up there in the right end and that spurred you on to get as many minutes as I can.”

Though City finished 8th that year – narrowly missing out on the play-offs – the disappointment was only short lived as the club challenged for the top once again in the first season with the return of fans.

No-one will ever forget the memorable 2021/22 promotion winning campaign, and unsurprisingly it is a season that Harry will hold as his greatest memory from his time as a Grecian. Indeed, it was Harry’s goal against Bristol Rovers – the first of four City strikes inside the first half – that set the Grecians on their way after three games drawing a blank on the scoresheet.

“That season was special and I think if I was to describe one moment as a highlight of my time at Exeter City it would be the promotion.

“It had been years in the making really and we were always pushing and were so close, so to be able to get over the line was amazing. I remember the game against Barrow, and everyone running on the pitch.

“It is such a family club and it was so special to be able to do it at SJP together.”


Kitey adapted to League One superbly and once again scored City’s first home goal of the season – a stunning volley against Port Vale that would go on to win the club’s goal of the season award. He can only draw positives from his first season in the third tier.

“It was great to play so many games in League One. It is a competitive league with some big hitters and there is such a jump up. To play with so many of the academy lads at the time too, it was nice to share the pitch with so many of them.

“I’m really proud to score that goal against Port Vale too – I remember getting the call that I was nominated and I was watching back some of the other contenders, I wasn’t sure I was going to win!”

Signing off his time in red and white, Harry has one final message for the Exeter City supporters.

“The fans have been excellent. Football is a game full of highs and lows and I’ve had moments that are really high and really low, and they have supported me and us the whole time.

“Around Christmas time when we were struggling, they were the 12th man and they got behind us and pushed us on, and we’ve been able to turn it around because the run we’ve been on since the New Year is incredible.

“So I just want to say a huge thank you to them. It has been an absolute pleasure playing for the club and playing in front of them. I just want to say thank you.”

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account