It was a busy opening month to 2021 for Exeter City Academy graduates, with new contracts signed and plenty of goals scored. In this article, we take a look at what previous recipients of the Trust Young Player of the Year have been getting up to over the last month with our new feature, Trusted Talent!
Every season, the Exeter City Supporters Trust awards one of its own with the accolade of the Trust Young Player of the Year, highlighting the up-and-coming talent in the Grecian academy. 12 academy products have been awarded with the accolade so far, with first year pro Lewis Wilson being the latest to receive it in a long line of successful players.
Currently playing at League Two rival Newport County, Scot Bennett was the inaugural recipient of the award in the 2008/09 season. Bennett played every minute of the five matches the Welsh outfit played in January, including captaining the side against Harrogate Town. This included an FA Cup showdown that went to penalties against Premier League Brighton and Hove Albion, where Bennett’s saved penalty in sudden death was what ended another potential giant killing for the side.
Another former Grecian featured in an FA Cup Third Round upset as Crawley Town, 2010/11 recipient Tom Nichols’ currently club, beat Leeds United 3-0. Featuring in the entirety of Crawley’s four games in January, the creative striker was ever present in the Crawley attack, setting up chances for the Sussex side, having signed there at the start of this season.
Former Grecian captain and 2011/12 recipient Jordan Moore-Taylor helped his side Forest Green Rovers to two clean sheets out of four in their games in January. The defender started every game for Rovers and only being subbed off once against Port Vale to make way for another familiar face in the form of former loanee Jayden Richardson.
It was a successful month for Swansea club captain Matt Grimes scoring three goals for the Welsh Championship side. The former Grecian who received the Trust Young Player of the Year in the 2012/13 season played in all bar one of Swansea’s January fixtures, missing out in their FA Cup clash against League Two Stevenage.
Jordan Storey won the Young Player award in 2015/16 and was soon snapped up by Preston North End in his debut season for the Grecians. Storey played twice for Preston in January including in their 4-1 FA Cup victory against Wycombe in which he almost scored from a corner.
Scooping up both the January Player and Goal of the Month awards, 2016/17 recipient Archie Collins has had a fantastic open to 2021 for the Grecians. Archie played every minute of match time in January and is becoming a regular name in manager Matt Taylor’s starting XI. Archie is on his second month running of winning Goal of the Month after receiving the award for his goal against Forest Green in December. The 21-year-old midfielder also pulled on the Captains armband in place of injured Jake Taylor this month in several games.
2017/18 season recipient Harry Kite was one of four Academy products to put pen to paper on a new deal with the club in January. Alongside signing his new contract Kite made one substitute appearance this January in Exeter’s 3-1 win against Stevenage as well as being an unused sub on the bench against Sheffield United and Harrogate.
Keep an eye out for next months Trusted Talent feature as we follow the careers of former Trust Young Player Award recipients. If you want to support the up and coming talent at Exeter City, you can become a member of the Trust at the following link - click here