Exmouth Town president names his ‘all-time Town squad’ - who would you have included?

PUBLISHED: 09:59 22 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:35 22 April 2020

Action from the Exmouth Town FA Cup replay with Shaftesbury. Exmouth players shown (left to right): Chris Wright, Dean Billingsley, Dave Rowe, Danny Tapp and Jake Welch.

Action from the Exmouth Town FA Cup replay with Shaftesbury. Exmouth players shown (left to right): Chris Wright, Dean Billingsley, Dave Rowe, Danny Tapp and Jake Welch.

Archant

Exmouth Town president John Dibsdall has been watching the Southern Road men for 35 years and so has seen so many excellent players wear the club colours.

Exmouth Town at home to Corinthians in the F.A Vase. Ref exsp 02-17TI 5271. Picture: Terry IfeExmouth Town at home to Corinthians in the F.A Vase. Ref exsp 02-17TI 5271. Picture: Terry Ife

We put him on the spot to see if he could come up the definitive ‘Dibs all-time Town team’.

He was quick to respond saying: “My, that is a task. In my 35 years of following Town we have certainly had some great seasons and others where you can’t wait for the season to end!

“In considering an all-time team I’ve started with the team that was listed in the programme for the FA Vase semi-final with Fleetwood, a tie played back on March 23, 1985, and then have gone through the various teams over the following 35 years to see who would warrant inclusion in an extended squad.

Exmouth Town FA Vase action from the 4-2 defeat at Southall FCExmouth Town FA Vase action from the 4-2 defeat at Southall FC

The Team listed to face Fleetwood were: 1 Mike Barrett; 2 Jeff Weeks; 3 Keith Sprague; 4 Lionel Thomas; 5 Russell Peterson; 6 Alan Hooker; 7 Graham Weeks; 8 Russell Dawson; 9 Paul Gidley; 10 Mel Pym; 11 Steve Hynds; 12 Robbie Hook.

Mark Gennard, Andy Rowland and Neil Gauntlett had also scored for Town that season.

The following season saw Lenny Jones and Tony Stuart start for Town and then Kevin Smith arrived at Southern Road scoring 58 goals in all competitions in the 1988/89 season.

When the side struggled in the early 90s, two players stood out for me. Keith Pitman, a superb central defender; and Tim Cowell, a midfield player with a talent for scoring goals.

Exmouth Town at home to Barnstaple in a FA Cup game. Ref exsp 33 19TI 0143. Picture: Terry IfeExmouth Town at home to Barnstaple in a FA Cup game. Ref exsp 33 19TI 0143. Picture: Terry Ife

As the 1990s progressed and into the noughties, a very young Kevin Hill made his debut, Martin Underhay (now a well-respected referee), Richard Pears and Spencer West provided the fire power, fed from midfield by Danny Burwood, Andy Widger, Richard Spiller and Paul Pocock with Tommy Taylor and a teenage Tom Gardner solid at the back with Simon Harris (father of Jordan) very dependable in goal.

When the Club reformed in 2006 it started life back in the Devon and Exeter League, but became part of the newly formed South West Peninsula League in season 2007/08.

During this period there were several solid and reliable players but I’m not sure any would force their way into the current squad that has some exceptional talent.

The point with the Fleetwood side is that they all played for Town over many seasons and would have been up for consideration if the Western League had chosen a team to represent the League. The diplomat within me has decided it would be unfair to consider and name players from the current squad although I’m sure readers will have their own views and there are some who would certainly be knocking on the door if not included in the following squad.

The Exmouth Town programme cover of the 1980'sThe Exmouth Town programme cover of the 1980's

So, for the purpose of this exercise, I have approached it as if I was selecting a squad for an international tournament.

I don’t have any records of current appearances, but I do have a programme from October 1993 that listed players from the Fleetwood side that showed Keith Sprague with 402 appearances, Jeff Weeks 397, Alan Hooker 393, Steve Hynds 387, Robbie Hook 347, Mike Barrett 309. Of the ones that played later, Frank Howarth stands out with 364.

And so that ‘Dibs all-time Town squad’

Goalkeepers: Mike Barratt, Simon Harris, Pete West

Defenders: Jeff Weeks, Tony Stuart, Lionel Thomas, Russell Peterson, Mark Gennard, Keith Pitman, Tommy Taylor, Tom Gardner

Midfield: Keith Sprague, Alan Hooker (c), Graham Weeks, Steve Hynds, Robbie Hook, Frank Howarth, Danny Burwood, Kevin Hill

Forwards: Kevin Smith, Mel Pym, Lenny Jones, Russell Dawson.

Have you got your own ‘all-time’ top Town squad? If so, why not share it - send us your chosen squad and we will publish it both in pront and online to share with others. Send your team to exmouth.sport@archant.co.uk


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