Season 10 – Exeter City, League Two
Media Prediction: 16th
Board Expectations: Mid table finish
In the summer I set to work to improve the squad depth, and in doing so brought in 10 players.
Notably a young left back on a free after he was released by Arsenal, and a pacy beanpole of a striker who had been released by AFC Wimbledon. Only 1 player left, for a fee of £245k, which meant we made a £240k profit this summer!
This turned into a decent season, as we were in the hunt for title until the closing weeks, but Notts County were a different class to anyone else and they sailed to the title with 103 points.
We finished in second place, nine points clear of third placed Cheltenham, and in a promotion spot. Promotion was the objective I had set myself for the season, so that was job done.
We had a couple of good cup runs, with a third round defeat to Crystal Palace in the League Cup and a 3-1 defeat away at Arsenal (who went on to win the Premier League) in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Despite this I feel like I am starting to want out of the English leagues, and as a result I have added the Greek, Turkish and Israeli leagues with an eye to managing in one of them soon.
On a side note Crewe won League One at a canter, with largely the same squad as I left them with. A couple of key signings in goal and at full back made the difference, it would seem.
Good luck to them back in the Championship for the first time in 25 years!
League Record: P:46 | W:28 | D:8 | L:10 | F:89 | A:51 | Pts:92
League Position: 2nd
FA Cup: 4th Round (Arsenal)
League Cup: 3rd Round (Crystal Palace)
EFL Trophy: 2nd Round (Fulham U23s)
Season 11 – Exeter City, League One
Media Prediction: 21st
Board Expectations: Fight bravely against relegation
A big hammer blow hit us early in pre-season when Sivasspor came in for my young star left back, and I had to accept an offer of £500k for him.
This was the only significant outgoing, and the board did allow me to reinvest this money in the squad as I spent £350k on a young striker from Leyton Orient, £8k on a left winger from Leicester, £35k on a centre back from Newcastle and £30k on a midfielder from Rotherham.
All of these were better than what we had already, so I felt confident we were in a better place. Further to this I managed to bring a right back from Crystal Palace in on loan and finally a young midfielder in on loan from Crewe, who was very highly rated during my time there.
We had a patchy start to the season, and after 12 games we sat in 17th position.
Not a disaster by any means, but things felt a little similar to my experience with Crewe. I started having a look around at what jobs might be available soon, and saw a couple of managers showing as insecure in Israel.
These two jobs were Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Maccabi Tel Aviv, who are two of the more successful clubs in Israel so I decided to keep an eye out for those jobs and change things up tactically with my Exeter team. After all I probably wouldn’t even get an interview with either of those clubs!
Those jobs did eventually become available and I applied, but as predicted didn’t get an interview with either of them.
I was a little worried as usually when I start casting my eyes elsewhere, the wheels fall off the team I’m managing and I lose a bit of interest. However this time we went on a run of 6 wins (5 in the league) in a row, which propelled us up to 7th in early November.
We maintained our decent form and ended up needing a win away at Bolton (who were also in the play-off hunt) on the final day. Sadly we played like a bunch of limp pricks and our hopes were spunked down our legs.
I have to remind myself to keep things in perspective, as we were among the favourites to be relegated at the start of the season.
Of the new signings, the DC from Newcastle was solid all season, but the winger from Leicester was a beast, chipping in with 17 goals and 9 assists in 37 appearances. I need to try and repeat that trick by picking up a bargain CM if I can, as I my established CM is leaving, along with a few others whose contracts have not been renewed.
Having been rejected a couple of times during my stint at Exeter, I was finally allowed to take my Continental Pro Licence after we hit our great run of form in October, which means I will have this in my pocket in October 2030.
Hopefully this will improve my reputation enough to get me a job at a bigger club, even if that club is in League One.
My contract was due to expire at the end of this season, and when there was no offer on the table by mid March I was wondering if the board were looking to replace me. In early April however, I was asked to attend a meeting to discuss whether I would be receptive to a new contract.
When I said yes an offer was duly made, and I am now contracted to Exeter until the end of the 2031/32 season.
League Record: P:46 | W:18 | D:15 | L:13 | F:73 | A:55 | Pts:69
League Position: 8th
FA Cup: 1st Round (Southend)
League Cup: 1st Round (Brentford)
EFL Trophy: 2nd Round (Chelsea U23s)