💬 Arran Pugh on transition from under-18s to first team

Following Tom Dean's signing of his first professional deal, Academy Director, Arran Pugh, has sat down with us to explain how the academy supports players who make that step up to first team football.

Tom is the latest in a long line of Exeter City academy stars to have been given professional terms, and will notice a considerable step up when he becomes part of the first team. 

"Fair play to Tom, he has a really positive season and one of things he has done really well is shown growth throughout the season and shown a development in his game," Pugh said. 

"He has delivered regularly in training and in games and had opprtunities in the first team where has impressed the staff. He's added goal contributions to his game and shown real composure.

"Throughout the academy journey there are always big jumps, such as 14 to 16, then 16 to 18, but it is well known that youth football to men's is by far the biggest one, so he has a lot of hurdles to overcome. But, he has all the right mentality and physical attributes. Showing those at a higher level is a big step but we are confident he can achieve that. 

"What will most likely happen is we'll get him a loan move to one of the fantastic clubs in the south-west that help support our youngsters, which really gives the players a chance to develop and where there is an expectation to deliver.

"But we also want to give these players the chance to play in Exeter shirt so we will be organising plenty of under-21 games., which gives them a chance to gain more experience."

Hear the full interview with Pughy ⬇️