The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Pippa Field

COME rain or shine he’ll be dap­per in the dugout and he’s now English football’s sec­ond long­est-serv­ing man­ager – but don’t tell Ex­eter City boss Paul Tis­dale he’s a crea­ture of habit.

Hired seven years ago, the 40-year-old finds him­self sec­ond only to Arsene Wenger’s 17 sea­sons at Arse­nal af­ter David Moyes switched to Old Traf­ford.

But for Tis­dale – renowned for his stylish touch­line out­fits in­clud­ing tweed jack­ets, flat caps and cra­vats – there is no pres­sure.

“It’s not about me hang­ing on and be­ing grate­ful for it,” he said. “I have been good to Ex­eter and they have been good to me.

“At some point I may move on but I am in no rush to leave as long as we’re still mak­ing progress. I have had nu­mer­ous of­fers from much higher leagues but I have cho­sen to stay at the club. It’s in my na­ture to be loyal.

“It’s a two-way thing, even when the team has not per­formed, the club has been very sup­port­ive with me.”

Tis­dale, a mid­fielder who played a hand­ful of games for Southamp­ton in the Pre­mier League, took charge of Team Bath in 2000.

He led them to the first round proper of the FA Cup in 2003 – the first time a univer­sity side had man­aged that since 1881 – and joined the Gre­cians, then in the Con­fer­ence, in 2006.


Los­ing in the play-off fi­nal in his first year, Tis­dale then se­cured back-to-back pro­mo­tions and led them to eighth in League One in 2011.

The re­al­ity of work­ing on a shoe­string bud­get hit the fol­low­ing year with rel­e­ga­tion, but de­spite the lure of clubs with larger pots of money,Tis­dale knows where his am­bi­tions lay.

“Be­ing suc­cess­ful as a man­ager is not just about the work but the play­ers I work with, how you view your job and what you see as progress,” he said.

“It’s not just about the league and league progress. There are many ways to progress in terms of coach­ing and man­ag­ing.

“Ob­vi­ously the two trips to Wem­b­ley and a cou­ple of pro­mo­tions are high­lights but the ma­jor thing that mo­ti­vates me is de­vel­op­ing play­ers young and old as a team and as play­ers.”

City are look­ing to build upon their tenth-place fin­ish last year, al­though once again any am­bi­tions have been har­nessed by a need to bal­ance the books.

Cru­cially they were able to keep hold of 34-year-old mid­fielder Matt Oak­ley while sign­ing 32-year-old Sam Parkin on a free from St Mir­ren.

“Matt has a huge ef­fect on the chang­ing room,” said Tis­dale. “We had to find a way to get him by hook or by crook.

“Sam is a good all round player and we needed some­one of that per­son­al­ity.

“We let half a dozen se­nior play­ers leave and fans might see we have only re­placed them with Sam but we have a lot of younger play­ers like Jake Gosling, Jor­dan Moore-Tay­lor and Jamie Reed who plays for North­ern Ire­land U21s. It’s a good group who are look­ing bet­ter and bet­ter.”

PIC­TURE: Pin­na­cle

DRESSED TO IM­PRESS: Ex­eter boss Paul Tis­dale Inset: Arsene Wenger and David Moyes

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