Exmouth Town Under-18s – Providing a pathway to the Town senior teams

PUBLISHED: 10:44 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:44 08 April 2020

Exmouth Town Under-18s. Picture: ETFC

Exmouth Town Under-18s. Picture: ETFC


In recent seasons, Exmouth Town have fielded an Under-18s team that has swept all before them and this season’s squad has kept the run going.

Town Under-18s have reached what is across the footballing divide, a season brought to a premature end by the Covid-19 crisis, unbeaten in all competitions and reaching the Devon County Cup Final.

There is no doubt that it has an all-round squad effort with every player that has pulled on a Town U18s shirt during the season, playing their part.

A regular between the sticks has been goalkeeper Will Davis playing in front of a defensive line of Josh Shaw, Jake Pond and Harvey Roddick that has been water-tight throughout a campaign that saw them rarely conceding a goal! Jake Pond has played for the Devon Under-18s this season and captained the Town U18s and others who have led throughout the campaign by example are Josh Shaw and Tom Preece.

Joe Cockram has enjoyed an outstanding season as the team’s holding midfielder and a hallmark of his contribution has been his excellent work rate.

Alongside him, fellow midfielders Josh Bond, Nat Hawkins, Lucas Coveney, Dylan Lascelles and Ethan Lake, have all stepped up to shine with distinction.

In terms of attacking midfielders, Ollie Bray stands head and shoulders as ‘one to watch out for’. He has ‘in his locker’ electrifying pace and two exceptional quick feet, that have caused angst to many an opposition defender. Bray has scored plenty of goals and also assisted many more and he has along with a number of other Town Under-18 players, stepped up to perform with distinction in the Town Reserve team, that has played the past campaign in the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League.

The Town Under-18s front line has relied heavily this season on the talents of Harry Bennet, Oliver Holman and Tom Preece. Three players, who collectively, are arguably some of the U18 squad’s most talented players. Young Bennett has stepped up as a 15-year-old from the Town Under-16 team while both Preece and Holman have graced the Devon U18 team this season. Another player to contribute to the forward line, has been Renz Farnican. Farnican was unfortunate, as after a superb start to the season, he picked up a red card, which subsequently, owing to the wet weather, meant he actually spent three whole months waiting to get back into action!

Like striker Harry Bennett, a coupe of other Town U16 players have stepped up into the U18 team and looked very comfortable.

Billy Worthington, Thomas King and Brad Worthington have all shown in their cameo outings with the team that the 2020/21 Town Under-18s are surely going to be very capable of continuing the current run of success for this particular Southern Road age group!

Town Under-18s boss Tom Prout says: “The whole squad have been a pleasure to manage this season. We don’t think there is much doubt that the Town Under-18s are one of, if not ‘the’ best teams in the age group across Devon.

My thanks go out to Oliver Evans, who has operated as my assistant and chairman Stuart Shaw, who have both been so helpful with all things U18 football this season.

Thanks, are also due in abundance to ‘Dibs’ [John Dibsdall] for getting the pitch ready for us for home games and also to Martin Cook for his efforts with our kit and of course, to Richard Tapp for his background work with the paperwork.

With the way the club is run, there is now a clear pathway for players in the Under-18 team to push for places on both the Town Reserves and the Town first team.

This past season has truly been a fantastic one and the only big shame about it all is that, thanks to the Coronavirus, we have not been able to play the campaign out to a finish.”

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