Inside Exeter City with Julian Tagg

Goal celebrations for Pierce Sweeney of Exeter City during the Sky Bet League 2 Match between Exeter

Goal celebrations for Pierce Sweeney of Exeter City during the Sky Bet League 2 Match between Exeter City and Bradford City at St James Park, Exeter on 6 Feb. Photo: Cameron Geran/PPAUK - Credit: Cameron Geran/PPAUK

Julian Tagg is president and director of external affairs at Exeter City Football Club. In this monthly column, he brings an exclusive look behind the scenes at St James Park. 
There’s definitely a feeling of being on a treadmill at the moment, with back-to-back games Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday for the foreseeable, and some epic distances being covered for our away games, from Barrow to Colchester. 
These boys cover some serious miles over the course of a season and get a very detailed knowledge of the highways and byways of our great country. 
It’s great to come off the back of a couple of wins, against Bradford and Stevenage, and still we march on, with some tussling for position in the table, these next few games are all important. 
We welcomed some new and some familiar faces to the club in the January transfer window. Sam Stubbs and Robbie Willmott are welcome new additions and it’s great to have Icelandic goalkeeper Jökull Andrésson back to the club, on loan from Reading. 
I personally welcomed Sam, and supported him, as I do with so many players, with relocation and accommodation.   
Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as planned when he later turned out to have Covid, which sent me back into isolation again. It was interesting to hear on the radio and TV that I also had Covid, which was a shock to me and I had to double check myself.  
And sadly, we have said goodbye to Nicky Law who has been offered an incredible opportunity coaching and playing in the States.  
I’m sure, like so many at the club, you will be sad to see Nicky move on. Of course, in these situations there is always a story behind the story.  
But it is only really in the eyes of the manager as he tries to, and continues to, improve and develop a squad which will achieve the ambitions of everybody at the club. 
The one thing this club is renowned for is not standing in people’s way when they have an exceptional opportunity made available to them and there is no doubt that Nicky has been made an exceptional offer to be given this opportunity state side.  
In every interview, Nicky has always spoken highly of the club as a whole and I am sure that, whilst this decision will be disappointment, it will also ultimately enhance our reputation. 
The strength of our club is our ownership model and our Supporters’ Trust continues to do amazing work for the benefit of the whole Exeter City family.  
Most recent has been the initiative to replace funds, which would have been raised for our partner charity CITY Community Trust through bucket collections.  
Thanks to the Supporters’ Trust’s Grecian Goal initiative, they were able to donate £2,500 to replace the lost income. The funds will go to help CITY Community Trust deliver their projects for the community, particularly those around supporting people who are isolated and lonely.  
They are currently linking up penpals to help people stay in touch, so if you know an older person who would like to receive a letter, then drop Jack Watts an email at jack.watts@ecfc.co.uk 
The Academy has been hitting the headlines recently, with Ollie Watkins scoring the winner against Arsenal at the weekend, a superb piece about Matt Grimes in The Times and an article in The Guardian about the impact of Brexit on British football.  
Well, I’ll keep my opinions on Brexit to myself, but when a coach from one of the top six clubs in the country picks out Exeter City as one of three clubs in the UK producing ‘world class players’ then you know you’re doing something right. 
So, let’s get behind the boys, as we push on through the next few weeks, and don’t forget, the future’s bright, the future’s red and white! 

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